Over half a dozen men are facing trial following a multiagency sex trafficking operation in northern Minnesota.
On Friday, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) announced that charges had been filed against seven suspects, all of whom were arrested in Itasca County this past week.
According to a release from the BCA, which led the operation, the suspects "chatted with undercover agents and investigators on several sex advertisement websites," and were subsequently arrested when they showed up "at an arranged meeting place for a commercial sex crime."
Of the seven men, all of whom range in age from 20 to 56, five are from Minnesota, while one came from as far away as Texas. Their charges are as follows:
- Chad Arther Dockendorf, 45, of Grand Rapids, Minn., charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor and 4th degree DWI.
- Matthew Ty Hall, 32, of Mount Pleasant, Texas, charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
- Derek Wayne Jokinen, 44, of Sawyer, Minn., charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
- Bruce Duane Jones, 54, of Goodridge, Minn., charged with communication of sexually explicit materials to a minor.
- Rusty James Marek, 56, of Grand Rapids, Minn., charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
- Saihou Adrisa Sissoho, 20, of Chisholm, Minn., charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
- Michael Kelly West, 53, of Rolla, Missouri, charged with carrying a pistol without a permit and solicitation to engage in prostitution.
All were booked into Itasca and Pennington county jails. The release does not specify any other details about the suspects or the sting operation itself.
“This is about people making the choice to victimize innocent people, and we’re not going to stand for it,” said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans in a statement. “The BCA and our criminal justice partners are committed to stopping those who would buy other people for sex in our communities. It is not okay.”
Working as part of the Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force, a wide variety of law enforcement agencies participated in the bust — including several police departments around the state, half a dozen sheriff's offices, two county attorney's offices and Homeland Security Investigations.
The task force was launched in 2017 with the goal of apprehending "traffickers and those exploiting children for sex."