The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) announced that a coordinated two-day effort last week between Minnesota law enforcement agencies working on behalf of the BCA’s Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force had resulted in the arrest of eleven people.
The BCA said three people had been arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking and promotion of prostitution and eight people were arrested for solicitation of a minor or solicitation of prostitution of a person under 16 years of age. Eighteen trafficking victims were also recovered and offered victim services, according to the BCA.
Agencies involved in the operation included the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Minneapolis Police Department, as well as police departments from Blaine, Bloomington and Coon Rapids among other agencies.
The office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that “Minneapolis is one of the top locations in the U.S. for child sex trafficking,” and referenced a local study that found over 34,000 advertisements posted online for sex in the Twin Cities in a six-month period.
According to a report by the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) at the University of Minnesota, trafficking recruitment of girls for commercial sex happens most often in three primary areas of Minneapolis: downtown, north Minneapolis, and the Phillips neighborhood.
The Department of Homeland Security in its Human Trafficking 101 report states that traffickers prey on victims with little or no social safety net. They look for victims who are vulnerable because of their illegal immigration status, limited English proficiency and those who are vulnerable due to other situations.
The BCA said that if people suspect that someone is in immediate danger of being trafficked, they should call 911. Other reporting resources and victim services are available on the BCA’s website.
Minnesota Crime Watch & Information offers citizen-powered news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.
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