Eden Prairie is a city of approximately 64,000,residents, located about 10 southwest of downtown Minneapolis in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Hennepin County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market are sex trafficking, child endangerment, and violence committed against people involved in these transactions.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response. For example, in September, 2019, a multi-agency human trafficking sting was conducted in Eden Prairie. Officers posed as the person who posted an online ad for prostitution, and texted with people who responded to the decoy ad. Ten people were arrested after they responded to the ad and went to an Eden Prairie hotel near Interstate 494 and Flying Cloud Drive, to complete the transaction. All 10 were charged with hiring or agreeing to hire a person for sex, a “gross misdemeanor” that carries a maximum sentence of one year or a fine of $3,000. One person was also charged with interfering with an officer, a misdemeanor, after he tried to run when officers told him he was under arrest.
- Eden Prairie Police Department
- Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Shaming:
- https://www.swnewsmedia.com/eden_prairie_news/news/public_safety/charged-in-eden-prairie-police-prostitution-sting (2019)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://patch.com/minnesota/edenprairie/minneapolis-woman-arrested-for-prostitution-in-eden-prairie (2012)
- https://www.edenprairie.org/Home/Components/News/News/226/282?arch=1&npage=5 (2012)
- http://edenprairieweblogs.org/policedepartment/posts/5513/ (2016)
- https://bringmethenews.com/news/woman-44-charged-in-upscale-prostitution-operation-in-eden-prairie2 (2018)