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Blaine is a city in Anoka and Ramsey counties in the State of Minnesota. The population is about 71,000 residents. The city is located mainly in Anoka County, and is part of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the communities and unincorporated areas of the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metro region, including Blaine and other areas within Anoka County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious problems associated with prostitution in the area is child sex trafficking. For example, in March 2010 police in Blaine arrested individuals involved in a juvenile sex trafficking ring. Police arrested a man on charges for using two 16-year-old girls in prostitution. One victim’s mother grew concerned about her daughter’s new part-time job, and contacted police, who learned that the teen and her 16-year-old friend worked for an alleged prostitution business that attracted sex buyers through a website. One teen said she worked three days a week, following a script prepared by the pimp on how to talk to potential sex buyers on the telephone.
In March 2017, Blaine residents were arrested for buying sex in nearby communities. One was arrested when an undercover officer acted as a decoy prostituted person near Lake Street East and 13th Avenue S. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to a charge of hiring, offering or agreeing to hire prostitution in a public place, a gross misdemeanor. He was convicted and sentenced to a two-year probation, was fined $2,000, and was sentenced to five days of community service in lieu of $500 of the fine. Charges of loitering with intent to participate in prostitution and loitering with intent to solicit an act prohibited by law were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Another man responded to an online ad on Backpage.com posted by undercover officers who said her age was “almost 16.” He was convicted of a misdemeanor and sentenced to two years of probation. He was required to perform 15 days of service or spend 60 days in the workhouse. He completed 15 days of service. He was also required to receive a psychological evaluation and counseling, attend a sex offender program, not possess any sexually explicit material, and not have any unsupervised contact with minor females except relatives. He was fined $200.
To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand, which provides the revenue stream driving all prostitution and trafficking. For example, in July 2019, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force led a two-day undercover operation in the Twin Cities metro area that led to the arrests of 11 people (3 arrested for sex trafficking or promotion of prostitution, and 8 arrested for solicitation of a minor or solicitation of prostitution with a person under 16 years of age). In addition to the arrests, the operation led to 18 trafficking victims being recovered from trafficking situations and offered services. The Task Force conducted the operation in partnership with local agencies including the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Isanti County Sheriff’s Office, Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office, Blaine Police Department, Bloomington Police Department, Brooklyn Park Police Department, Buffalo Police Department, Coon Rapids Police Department, Howard Lake Police Department, Minneapolis Police Department, City of Rochester Police Department, Saint Paul Police Department, Upper Sioux Police Department, and investigators from the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
- Blaine Police Department
- Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
- Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force. Anoka County Sheriff’s Office
- Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office
- Isanti County Sheriff’s Office
- Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office
- Bloomington Police Department
- Brooklyn Park Police Department
- Buffalo Police Department
- Coon Rapids Police Department
- Howard Lake Police Department
- Upper Sioux Police Department
- Ramsey County Attorney’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- http://www.swnewsmedia.com/shakopee_valley/arrests-made-in-shakopee-during-super-bowl-sex-trafficking-sting (2018)
- http://www.swnewsmedia.com/shakopee_valley/four-charged-with-prostitution-after-super-bowl-sting-in-shakopee (2018)
- https://patch.com/woodbury/sex-trafficking-sting-nets-dozens-suspects-pre-super-bowl (2018)
- http://www.startribune.com/dozens-swept-up-in-pre-super-bowl-sex-trafficking-sting (2018)
- http://www.swcbulletin.com/dozens-arrested-super-bowl-sex-trafficking-sting (2018)
- https://www.kare11.com/sex-sting-leads-to-arrests-trafficking-rescues (2018)
- https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/twin-cities-sex-trafficking-operation-results-in-11-arrests (2019)
- https://kstp.com/minnesota-twin-cities-bureau-criminal-apprehension-11-arrested-undercover-trafficking (2019)
- http://www.fox9.com/11-arrested-after-undercover-human-trafficking-operation-in-twin-cities (2019)
- https://www.hometownsource.com/local-officials-take-part-in-twin-cities-sex-trafficking-operation (2019)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Witness in St. Paul Sex Case Arrested”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 14 1988.
- “Prostitute, 17, Says Pimp Was Captor; Police Arrest Woman, 22, After Internet Tip”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 20 2007.
- http://www.startribune.com/police-in-blaine-bust-juvenile-prostitution-ring-at-work-online (2010)
- “Teen Prostitutes Get New Status”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 26 2011.
- “Runaway Girls Focus of Fight to Curb Sex Trafficking”, Park Rapids Enterprise, January 14 2013.
- “St. Paul Prostitution Ring Busted; Young, Vulnerable Girls Trafficked, Charges Say”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 10 2013.
- “Victims Step Forward to Help Bust St. Paul Sex-Trafficking Ring”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 10 2013.
- “Minnesota Law for Sex Trafficking Victims”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 11 2013.
- “Woodbury Woman Who Allowed Prostitution of Teen Gets Six Months in Workhouse”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 6 2013.
- “4 Minn. Family Members Now Convicted in Sex Trafficking Case”, CBS/WCCO-TV 4, November 20 2013.
- “In St. Paul Sex Trafficking Case, a Record 40-Year Prison Term”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 9 2014.
- “Man Gets Longest-Ever Sex Trafficking Sentence in MN History”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 9 2014.
- “Minneapolis Pimp Held 2 Women Captive at Hotel, Charges Say”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, February 7 2014.
- “Man Sentenced in Sex Trafficking Case,” Rochester Post Bulletin, November 13 2014.
- “St. Paul Prostitution Ring Busted by Runaway, 17, Police Say,” St. Paul Pioneer-Press, November 19 2014.
- “Twin Cities Sex-Trafficking Case Goes to Jury; Pair Accused of Prostituting Girl, 15,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 23 2014.
- “St. Paul Man Admits Role in Prostitution Ring,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 14 2015.
- “Two More Plead Guilty to Role in Recruiting Girl for Prostitution,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, February 13 2015.
- “Man Accused of Trafficking Girls 12, 16, in Minnesota,” Bemidji Pioneer, February 21 2015.
- “Five from St. Paul Charged in Sex Trafficking Ring,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 3 2015.
- “Two Charged with Hiring Minor as Prostitute,” Grand Forks Herald, April 15 2015.
- “Man who Pimped Teens in St. Paul Loses First Amendment Claim,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 13 2015.
- “St. Paul Man Charged with Prostituting Forest Lake Girl,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 23 2015.
- “Jurors Convict St. Paul Prostitution Ringleader,” Bemidji Pioneer, February 10 2016.
- “3 Twin Cities Men Cleared of Interstate Sex Trafficking; Their Convictions Were Overturned after Witness Proved Unreliable,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 2 2016.
- http://www.citypages.com/news/the-hard-life-on-lake-street-inside-minneapolis-sex-work-hub (2017)
- https://www.presspubs.com/shoreview/news/sex-buyer-john-has-a-name (2017)
- https://upnorthlive.com/news/local/msp-warns-of-impacts-of-prostitution-in-northern-michigan-communities (2018)
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Details Emerge in Porter Killing”, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 5 2007.
- “Prostitute Charged in May Beating”, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 7 2007.
- “Porter Had Chance to Save Self, Woman Says at Sentencing; A Prostitute Who Lured Howard Porter to the House Where He Was Beaten Says the Ex-College Basketball Star and Probation Officer Stayed to Try to Help Her; The Robbery Led to His Death”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 14 2008.
- “Woman Found Dead Inside Towed Vehicle Was a Prostitute, Police Say”, Twin Cities City Pages, March 7 2013.