ST. PAUL — More than a dozen people were taken into custody following a two-day undercover operation focusing on human trafficking and solicitation.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) led the operation with assistance from the Fridley Police Department and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. The Plymouth Police Department and the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office provided additional assistance.
Over the past two days, a sting operation was conducted utilizing undercover agents and investigators. The subjects believed they were going to meet with a child 13- to 15-years-old for sex. Separately, agents targeted online solicitation using multiple social media platforms.
By the time the operation ended this afternoon, investigators arrested 19 people who were all booked into the Anoka County Jail. All are from the greater Twin Cities area. Charges are expected within the next few days.
- 15 men were taken into custody on probable cause solicitation of a child
- 2 men and 2 women were taken into custody on probable cause felony human trafficking
- 10 women were rescued from sex trafficking, including one juvenile
The juvenile victim was placed in protective custody in Anoka County. The nine adult victims were identified, interviewed and released following Minnesota Safe Harbor guidelines. While the operation has ended, these remain active and ongoing investigations.
The Minnesota ICAC Task Force investigates incidents of child exploitation. It is led by agents in the BCA Predatory Crimes Section, which conducts human trafficking, child exploitation and predatory offender investigations.
About the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
The BCA provides investigative and specialized law enforcement services to prevent and solve crimes in partnership with law enforcement, public safety and criminal justice agencies. Services include forensic laboratory analysis, criminal histories, investigations and criminal justice training.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.