Isanti County, MN

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Isanti County, Minnesota has a population of about 40,000, and its county seat is the city of Cambridge. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the communities and unincorporated areas of Isanti 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 is sex trafficking.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response.  In September, 2018 four men were arrested in Isanti County during a web-based revese sting focusing on men seeking to buy sex with children. The defendants were identified in news releases, and they were all charged with prostitution – hires/offers/agree to hire; individual believes age 13 to 16; penetration or contact; solicit child or believe to be a child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct.

In July, 2019 the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office participated in a sex trafficking sting operation led by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force.  The 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, Minnesota, 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.

Key Partners

  • Isanti County Sheriff’s Office
  • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
    • Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force
  • Anoka County Sheriff’s Office
  • Hennepin 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
  • Upper Sioux Police Department
  • Ramsey County Attorney’s Office
State Minnesota
Type County
Population 39582
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