Five men are facing serious charges following a sex sting targeting online solicitation of minors in Crow Wing County.
The arrests were made this week in the Brainerd area, with authorities saying they targeted "individuals seeking to have sexual contact with juveniles under 15 years old."
According to a news release, all five of the suspects are local to the area.
“I’m extremely saddened to learn that members of our communities were actively attempting to prey upon children," said Crow Wing County sheriff Scott Goddard in the release. "We will continue to tirelessly pursue anyone suspected of this type of behavior.”
The Brainerd Dispatch reports that investigators posed as a 14-year-old girl online to lure sexual predators; at least three of the men are accused of arranging to meet the fictional "persona" for sex.
They made their first court appearances on Thursday, answering to a number of charges, including soliciting a child.
BringMeTheNews does not typically name suspects until they are formally charged.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Nisswa, Brainerd, and Baxter Police departments are among the law enforcement agencies that assisted in the sting.