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Fridley is a suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and has a population of about 25,000. In recent years, cases of prostitution and sex trafficking have been reported in the area, often with ties to the nearby Twin Cities. In June 2014, for example, a Fridley man was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for trafficking a 17-year-old girl from Fridley to Colorado to commit acts of prostitution.
In an effort to reduce underlying demand for prostitution that drives the local commercial sex market, the Fridley Police Department has conducted at least two web stings targeted sex buyers. During one of the reversals, conducted in February 2013, the FPD arrested 19 male sex buyers. Officers posted a decoy advertisement on Backpage.com and set up an operation at a local hotel that cooperated in the sting. Six detectives conducted the operation– one female undercover officer posed as a decoy prostituted woman in a room monitored by video and audio surveillance, while other officers waited in an adjacent room until deals were struck, then they arrested the sex buyers and took them to jail. All of the suspects were booked at the Anoka County jail and released. Following the investigation, the FPD Chief of Police commented to the press that local prostitution is often accompanied by narcotics and can sometimes involve human trafficking, an area of particular interest for Fridley police. He reiterated that the department has had cases reach the federal level after determining a prostitute working in the city was in fact the victim of human trafficking.
At least one of the 19 men arrested in the 2013 operation agreed to a continuance for dismissal, meaning he would not be convicted as long as he payed $500 in court costs and completed a john school class offered by Breaking Free. The sex buyer’s identity was included in news reports.
In March, 2018, 19 men were cited during a two-day prostitution sting in Fridley. The men were ticketed for soliciting sex from a prostituted person at a local hotel.
- Fridley Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- “Fridley Police Crack down on Prostitution,” Sun Focus Newspapers, August 2 2012.
- “23 Arrests Linked to Fridley Prostitution Investigation,” NBC/KARE-TV 11, February 20 2013.
- “Fridley Police Use Backpage.com in Prostitution Sting,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 21 2013.
- https://bringmethenews.com/news/21-cited-in-fridley-prostitution-sting (2018)
John School, Shaming:
- https://patch.com/minnesota/fridley/report-mark-mauer-must-take-classes-pay-fine-followine2fb76639a (2013)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Police Arrest Fridley Man, 42, Accused of Making Porn Videos,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 10 1988.
- “Police Examine Porn Videos, Confiscated from Fridley Man,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 11 1988.
- “Anoka County Releases Suspect in Bondage Case,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 14 1988.
- “Fridley Man Is Accused of Holding Teen, Forcing Her into Prostitution,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 9 2009.
- “Couple Charged with Prostituting Runaway; Police Say Iowa Girl Has Asperger Syndrome,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, February 3 2012.
- “Pair Accused of Prostituting Iowa Teen,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 3 2012.
- “1 Year Each for Pimping Iowa Teen,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 21 2012.
- “Fridley Man Charged with Interstate Prostitution,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 10 2013.
- “Anoka County Law Enforcement to Form Human Trafficking Task Force,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 23 2013.
- “Fridley Man Pleads Guilty to Transporting a Minor to Engage in Prostitution,” Sun Focus Newspapers, July 17 2013.
- “Forum Tackles Topic of the Sex Trade in the Suburbs,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 27 2014.
- “15-Year Term for Fridley Man who ‘Bought and Sold’ Dozens of Girls, Women,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 5 2014.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
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