A human trafficking sting operation in northern Minnesota led to the arrests of six people, including three men from Minnesota.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension led an operation in which suspects responded to an ad on a sex advertisement website and they were arrested as they arrived at an arranged meeting place for a "commercial sex crime," a news release says.
All six people were booked into jail on probable cause solicitation of prostitution of an adult, with charges expected in the "coming days."
Those arrested include a 56-year-old from Bemidji, a 24-year-old from Bemidji, a 43-year-old from Park Rapids (who also faces probable cause possession of a controlled substance), as well as a 39-year-old from Washington, a 49-year-old from Illinois and a 48-year-old from Missouri.
Two of those arrested are currently working on the controversial Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement, with the company confirming in a statement to the Star Tribune that they have been fired.
"Enbridge and our contractors have zero tolerance for illegal and exploitative actions. That is why we are joining with our contractors and unions to denounce the ... actions of those who participate in sex trafficking."
“This operation was part of our ongoing, collective commitment to rid our communities of sexual exploitation.” BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said in a news release Monday. “It is never okay to purchase another person for sex.”
Beltrami County investigators with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension-led human trafficking task force led the operation in partnership with the Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking Task Force and the Bemidji Police Department from June 25-26.