A Super Bowl sting operation in Washington County has seen 18 men charged for soliciting a child for sex.
It came after a sting operation by the East Metro Sex Trafficking Task Force designed to combat sex trafficking during the Super Bowl.
Most of those caught in the sting are from Minnesota. They were arrested after they responded to an ad placed by police on Backpage.com that suggested they could meet up with a 15-year-old boy.
As well as the sting on Jan. 27, which had responders to the ad directed to an address in Woodbury, the Washington County Attorney says they saved several victims of the commercial sex trade during Super Bowl week, in coordination with Minneapolis police.
The Pioneer Press reports that among the men caught in the Woodbury sting was former South Washington County school district teacher Andrew Henry Burfeind, 53, of St. Paul.
"We are committed to working in collaboration with our local law enforcement and federal partners in stemming the tide of sex trafficking in our communities," Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in the press release.
"We will do this by vigorously investigating individuals that exploit juveniles and adults in the illegal sex trade industry in Washington County, and the State of Minnesota. The commercial sex trade industry is not a victimless crime."
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reported last week that undercover sex trafficking operations carried out during Super Bowl week by the BCA-led Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force yielded 43 arrests.
The men charged in Woodbury for solicitation of a juvenile for sex are as follows:
- Abdirahman Abdullahi Awil, 32
- Jeffrey Steve Lema-Chicaiza, 22
- Koushik Mamidala, 20
- Prince Albert Prowd, 20
- Scott Thomas Gola-Udseth,
- Guy Henry Anderson, 36
- Pah Ta Kee, 28
- Mitchell Harold King, 39
- Robert Aaron McClung, 51
- Sadiq Hussain, 27
- Andrew Henry Burfeind, 53
- Saul Alvarez Ramirez, 37
- Martin Roy, 52
- Froylan Mendez Escamilla, 46
- Taylor Gordan Diaz, 20
- Santiago Cabrera Cabrera, 24
- Richard Mark Bottolfson, 29
- Dwayne Gordan Johnson, 53