|IT Based Tactics||✓|
In July 2015, a coalition of law enforcement agencies, led by the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office and including the St. Peter Police Department, launched a two-stage reverse sting in St. Peter and New Ulm. Over a three-day period, 13 sex buyers were arrested after responding to online advertisements and arranging to meet undercover officers at hotels in the two cities. Law enforcement did not disclose details of the operations, but noted that it “targeted males interested in juvenile female prostitutes” and was “funded in part by a Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Girls Are NOT For Sale grant.”
In October 2015, the NCSO-led coalition conducted a second two-stage reverse sting in St. Peter in New Ulm, arresting seven sex buyers in the process. Although the identities of the majority of those arrested were again not released, two offenders’ names and mugshots were publicized in press. One of the men was charged with “felony prostitution charge for hiring or agreeing to hire” what he thought was a minor female for prostitution (but was in fact an undercover officer).
In early December 2015, the identities of three of the seven men arrested in October were released to the public, after they were formally charged in Nicollet County court.
- Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office
- St. Peter Police Department
- Brown County Sheriff’s Office
- Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office
- New Ulm Police Department
- Mankato Department of Public Safety
- Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Girls Are NOT For Sale Grant Program
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- “13 Arrested in Southern Minnesota Prostitution Sting,” ABC/KSTP-TV 5, July 13 2015.
- “13 People Arrested for Prostitution by Area Law Enforcement,” CBS/KEYC-TV 12, July 13 2015.
- “Weekend Prostitution Sting Nets 13 Suspects,” Mankato Free Press, July 13 2015.
- “Seven Arrested in Prostitution Stings,” Mankato Free Press, October 12 2015.
- “Sex Stings Net 7 Suspects; Arrests Made in New Ulm and St. Peter,” New Ulm Journal, October 13 2015.