Ramsey County, MN
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Ramsey County has a population of approximately 543,000, and its largest city and county seat is St. Paul, Minnesota’s state capital. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities and unincorporated areas of the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metro region. St. Paul has experienced a wide range of problems associated with its robust local commercial sex market, including child sex trafficking, sexually exploited persons specifically targeted for assault and murder, and infants endangered during commercial sex exchanges.
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. For example, sixteen people were arrested in Shakopee as part of a seven-day sex trafficking sting operation in the metro area in the days before and after the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis. The Shakopee Police Department was heavily involved in two sex trafficking sting operations in the region. After months of planning, Shakopee Sgt. John Buetow headed an operation with assistance from Carver County, Chaska, Savage, Belle Plaine and New Prague in surveillance, arrests and interviews. First they worked with the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension from January 26 to February 2, and then they assisted the Guardian Angels Task Force. A Shakopee home was used as part of an undercover operation, and of the 16 people arrested in Shakopee, only one person was from Shakopee. The BCI sting resulted in 43 arrests, and Guardian Angels Task Force netted over 100 cases. In the BCA operations, people posed as minors online, while Guardian Angels ran ads offering juvenile escorts.
The BCA said three dozen were booked on probable cause for solicitation of a minor and seven were booked for sex trafficking or promoting prostitution. Those numbers reflect only the BCA’s task force and do not include arrests on similar charges or stings conducted by other law enforcement agencies. The BCA leads the inter-agency Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force, which includes personnel from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Paul and Minneapolis police departments, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the Ramsey County Attorney’s office. The reverse sting also included the participation of the Carver, Crow Wing, Dakota, Pope and Ramsey County sheriff’s offices, the Belle Plaine, Chaska, New Prague, North St. Paul, Savage and Shakopee police departments, and the Scott and Washington county attorney’s offices. A similar Guardian Angels operation during the Ryder Cup in 2016 in Chaska netted nine arrests in Shakopee. Law enforcement posted ads on Craigslist and Backpage.com for those prior operations.
Astudy released in May, 2018 found that m In August, 2018, a Chaska lawyer was charged with allegedly attempting to solicit sex from a 12-year-old after he was caught in a Department of Homeland Security sting. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office on Aug. 3 charged the man with one count of prostitution and one count of soliciting a child (or believed to be a child) through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct. The suspect thought he was texting the father of a 12-year-old girl before he was arrested, the court files stated.
- Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
- Ramsey County District Attorney’s Office
- St. Paul Police Department
- Minneapolis Police Department
- Ramsey County District Attorney
- Olmsted County Prosecutor’s Office
- Anoka County Sheriff’s Office
- Department of Homeland Security Investigations,
- Breaking Free
- Action Network to End Sexual Exploitation in Minnesota (ANESEM)
- Sawyer Solutions, LLC
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.twincities.com/hastings-man-falls-for-prostitution-sting-twice-prosecutors-say/ (2013)
- https://www.swnewsmedia.com/chaska-lawyer-arrested-after-allegedly-soliciting-sex-from-a-minor (2018)
- “Sex Buyer ‘John’ Has a Name.” Shoreview Press, May 15, 2018.
Street-Level Reverse Stings:
- “St. Paul Police Mapping Plans for Another Prostitution Roundup”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 19 1988.
- “2 Arrested in Male Prostitution ‘Sting’”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 7 1988.
- “Sting Short-Circuits: ‘Radio Call Girls’”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, September 13 1989.
- “Boy, 13, and Father and Son Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 21 1990.
- “Nine Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 10 1997.
- “On the Street: Police Say Sting Operations Don’t Work”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 25 1997.
- “St. Paul Police Try to Find A Lasting Prostitution Solution”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 1 1998.
- “Physician Arrested in Vice Sting”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, February 14 2004.
- “Seeds of Change: Crime Has Declined, But Frogtown Still Struggles”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 9 2004.
- “METRO/REGIONAL BRIEFING: St. Paul Politician Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 16 2007.
- “Council Member Is Arrested in Sting”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, February 27 2008.
- “Judge: City Official Must Face Prostitution Charge”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 26 2008.
- “St. Paul Labor Figure Pressured to Resign”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 12 2010.
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- “Former Aide to GOP Officials Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 16 2007.
- “As Hookers Move from Streets to Net, Cops Follow; Dozens Nabbed in St. Paul Sex Sting Prompted by Craigslist Complaints”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 5 2007.
- “METRO BRIEFING: St. Paul”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 5 2008.
- “St. Paul Prostitution Sting Nets Prior Lake Pastor”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 3 2009.
- “Cops: Prostitution Sting Nabs WBL Assistant Girls’ Hockey Coach”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 19 2010.
- “Despite Stings, Sex Still Selling Well in St. Paul”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 26 2010.
- “Hastings Man Falls for Prostitution Sting– Twice, Prosecutors Say”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, February 1 2013.
- “Former St. Paul-Ramsey Chief Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 8 2013.
- “Alberta MLA Caught in U.S. Hooker Sting Gets Ringing Endorsement”, Yahoo! Daily Brew, October 11 2013.
- “Canadian Politician Pleads Guilty After July Arrest in Prostitution Sting”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 18 2013.
- “Prostitution Fight May Hit Internet, TV; St. Paul Police Plan to Publicize Patrons’ Photos”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 17 1997.
- “High-Tech ‘Shaming’; On the Web, St. Paul Police ID Prostitutes, Johns”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 25 1997.
- “St. Paul Police to Air Prostitution Sweep; Cable Broadcast Adds to Force’s Anti-Vice Campaign”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 1 1998.
- “Online Site for ‘Johns’ in the Works; Police Hope to Deter Offenders Via Publicity”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 17 2004.
- “Bill Would Allow ‘John Sweeps’, Car Seizures”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 6 1993.
- “St. Paul Police Seize Vehicles After Arrests in Prostitution Sting”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 2 1993.
- “Police Seize More Cars in Prostitution Arrests”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 17 1994.
- “Semitrailer Truck Impounded in St. Paul Prostitution Sweep”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 22 1994.
- “City Resumes Seizing Cars in Attack on Prostitution; Earlier Crackdown Struck Down by Court”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 22 1994.
- “Car Seizures Not a Detterent to Prostitution; Sweeps in Minneapolis, St. Paul Target ‘Johns’”, St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 20 1994.
- “Twin Cities Neighborhoods Wage Dogged Fight Against Prostitution”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 27 1986.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation 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.
- “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.
- 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.
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