ST. PAUL —Seven people were charged today following their arrests during a human trafficking operation in Itasca County. Investigators with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA)-led Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force led the three-day operation in partnership with the Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking (TRUST) Task Force and the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office. The operation ran from Feb. 17-19.
During the operation, suspects chatted with undercover agents and investigators on several sex advertisement websites. Investigators arrested the suspects as they arrived at an arranged meeting place for a commercial sex crime. All were booked into the Itasca or Pennington County jails.
- Chad Arther Dockendorf, 45, of Grand Rapids, Minn., was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor and 4th degree DWI.
- Matthew Ty Hall, 32, of Mount Pleasant, Texas, was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
- Derek Wayne Jokinen, 44, of Sawyer, Minn., was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
- Bruce Duane Jones, 54, of Goodridge, Minn., was charged with communication of sexually explicit materials to a minor.
- Rusty James Marek, 56, of Grand Rapids, Minn., was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
- Saihou Adrisa Sissoho, 20, of Chisholm, Minn., was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
- Michael Kelly West, 53, of Rolla, Missouri, was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit and solicitation to engage in prostitution.
“This is about people making the choice to victimize innocent people, and we’re not going to stand for it,” said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans. “The BCA and our criminal justice partners are committed to stopping those who would buy other people for sex in our communities. It is not okay.”
“What this operation tells us is that there is demand to sexually exploit young people in Northern Minnesota,” said Itasca County Attorney Matti Adam. “This type of proactive law enforcement effort helps detect those who prey on our young and vulnerable populations. I am thankful that Itasca County could partner with the task force in this effort.”
Many additional agencies lent resources and expertise to this effort, including the Fond du Lac, Leech Lake Tribal, Cambridge, Thief River Falls, Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments; the Isanti, Kanabec, Polk, Anoka, Aitkin and Hennepin County sheriff’s offices; Homeland Security Investigations, and the Itasca and Ramsey County attorney’s offices.
About the Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force
The Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force was established in 2017 with funding from the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs as a statewide enforcement effort to target traffickers and those exploiting children for sex.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of being trafficked, call 911. To report a suspected trafficking situation, call the BCA at 877-996-6222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.