Moorhead, MN

Tactics Used

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

Moorhead is the largest city in northwest Minnesota, with a population of roughly 35,000.  It is the Minnesota portion of the Fargo, North Dakota metropolitan area.  The Moorhead Police Department, along with the Fargo Police Department and Cass County Sheriff’s Office, have reported a substantial prostitution problem, particularly in local hotels and motels. Most of the sale of sex is arranged via the internet.

Police and advocacy groups report that sex trafficking is also increasing in the area due to the economic boom related to the Bakken oilfield production, and the influx of male workers in the region. At least one case of sex trafficking of minors– involving a 13-year-old girl– has also been documented in the community.

In an effort to reduce the demand for prostitution, the Moorhead Police Department conducts periodic reverse stings, and released the names of arrested johns since at least 2008. In April 2014, for example, two johns were arrested following a reverse sting a Moorhead hotel. Their identities were publicized by several media outlets.



Key Partners

  • Moorhead Police Department

Key Sources

State Minnesota
Type City
Population 35329
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