A Minneapolis man has been charged in connection with a sex trafficking raid at a hotel in Roseville involving a woman from New York.
Charges filed in Ramsey County state Jiecong Cao, 24, was engaged in the promoting of prostitution following an operation at the Hampton Inn hotel at 2050 Iona Lane earlier in November.
According to the charges, Roseville Police Department had received a tip that the sale of sex was taking place in three rooms on the third and fourth floors of the hotel, sparking several nights of surveillance during which time police observed "multiple men individually going in and out of the three rooms, each staying for a short period of time."
Several of these men were later stopped and confirmed they'd responded to an ad to pay for sex at the hotel, noting that the woman involved were of Asian descent.
Officers observed three Asian women going between the rooms, while hotel records showed the guests as women with ties to Flushing, New York, which the charges states is a "city known for large criminal organizations which engage in the sex trafficking of such women."
On the evening of Nov. 18, an SUV arrived in the parking lot driven by a man, and two of the Asian women seen going between the rooms entered it before it drove away.
The SUV returned the next morning with the same driver, with a third woman entering the vehicle, and was later dropped off at the airport.
Charges state the woman was later found with almost $10,000 in cash, but did not make a statement.
Cao was found to be the driver of the SUV during a traffic stop.
During interview, he initially claimed to be a food delivery driver, but eventually admitted that he was employed by another person to drive women between hotels and the airport.
Per the charges: "He said he knows that the women involved sell sex and that they give him the money from the sex acts.
"He said that he then passes the money onto another man, who passes it on in turn."
Cao then showed officers text messages that showed it had been occurring for at least 20 days.
Cao made his first court appearance Tuesday, with his next hearing set for Dec. 2.