Coon Rapids, MN

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Coon Rapids is a city of approximately 63,000 residents in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. It is the largest city in Anoka County.  According to Coon Rapids Police Department officials, there has been concern in recent years that prostitution sting operations by Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park Police Departments has pushed prostitution activity across the river and into Coon Rapids.  The Chief of Police said that prostitution often involves assault and robbery.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. For example, in November 2012, a Coon Rapids Police Department web-based reverse sting yielded the arrest of seven suspects.  Police placed a false advertisement on and set up the reverse sting at a cooperating Coon Rapids motel.  The operation involved one female police decoy and a support team of nine officers.  The six men were arrested, jailed, then booked and released with a court date on gross misdemeanor engaging in prostitution charges.  The Coon Rapids City Attorney’s Office filed formal gross misdemeanor charges against each suspect.  This was the first time local police conducted a prostitution sting operation, but in 2012 they said they expected to conduct “random” sting operations pursuant to the department’s pro-active enforcement policy.

On January 9, 2013, a reverse sting operation was conducted by the Coon Rapids Police Department at a motel.  The Jan. 9 operation took place at a different motel from the operation in November 2012, but similarly placed an advertisement in the “Escort” section of  The sting operation was set up with the cooperation of the motel staff with both uniformed and plainclothes police officers involved.  The five men arrested came from the Twin Cities area – Brooklyn Park, New Brighton, Eagan, Champlin and Bethel – and ranged in age from 18 to 55.  They were all booked at the Anoka County Jail on gross misdemeanor prostitution charges and released after being given a court date.

In February 2014, the Chief of the Robbinsdale, MN Police Department was arrested in a reverse sting in Coon Rapids.  In that operation, 11 sex buyers were arrested. The Chief pleaded guilty in Anoka County Court, was fined $300, and received a stay of adjudication dependent upon completing a year of probation, completing a john school program at “Breaking Free” or a similar anti-prostitution program, and meeting all other the conditions set by the court – the prostitution case on his record will be dismissed if those conditions are met.

In 2017, a Circle Pines resident was convicted for offering to hire a trafficked child at a hotel in Coon Rapids. He was initially charged with a felony for offering to hire an hour of sexual services from a 14-year-old for $125, according to court documents. He was arrested during a sting by law enforcement at a Coon Rapids hotel in 2015. The sting was focused on those seeking to buy sex from minors. The man was one of the potential customers who responded to an online ad and agreed via text to pay $125 for an hour of services with a 14-year-old. When he arrived at the hotel, he had $125 in cash. The suspect maintained that he did not pay attention or realize that the person was underage and was simply coming for a massage. However, he told the undercover officer to prepare a condom when the officer asked him to bring one, according to a text message. He pleaded guilty in 2016 to a charge of hiring, offering or agreeing to hire prostitution in a public place. His conviction was deemed a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $700. He was required to perform 20 hours of community service; 90 days in jail was stayed for successfully completing the terms of his probation. He volunteered at a food shelf.

In March, 2023, a Coon Rapids man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his conviction in a sextortion scheme that targeted minors online. The man had previously worked as a middle school paraprofessional in special education. He pleaded guilty to two counts of production of “child pornography” (child sexual abuse materials, or CSAM), one count of enticement of a minor, and one count of interstate communications with intent to extort. He used Snapchat, Grindr, and an online gaming forum he owned and administered to carry out the scheme against children. From April 2016, through August 2021, the man used his position as the forum administrator to groom children to produce CSAM and to be sexually abused by him. The man provided the children with in-game perks, privileges, and other gifts as part of his scheme. He coerced a 13-year-old to engage in sexually explicit acts on camera, and then threatened to release those images if the child did not follow his demands. The case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, the Erie County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Waterloo Regional Police Service in Ontario, Canada.

Key Partners

  • Coon Rapids Police Department

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

John School:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Sex Trafficking, Prostitution, Related CSAM in the Area:

State Minnesota
Type City
Population 63385
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