Rochester police help with crackdown on sex trafficking

Dozens arrested trafficking victims rescued in undercover operation BCA says

Dozens arrested trafficking victims rescued in undercover operation BCA says

More than two dozen human trafficking victims are safe and nearly five dozen people are under arrest after an undercover operation involving the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Undercover agents and investigators posed as minors or sex buyers and chatted on several social media sites with people during the sting from Thursday to Monday. Investigators would then arrange a meeting place and arrest the suspects as they arrived for an encounter.

The BCA said 28 victims were rescued from sex trafficking situations, including one minor.

An exterior view of U.S. Bank Stadium prior to the 2019 NCAA men's Final Four National Championship game between the Virginia Cavaliers and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Police arrested 47 people on suspicion of solicitation of a minor or solicitation of someone under age 16.

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"This operation is an example of the aggressive steps necessary to stop traffickers and johns who buy and sell people for sex in our communities", said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans.

The operation was carried out by personnel from 33 criminal justice agencies and was part of the ongoing work of the Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force. Most are from the greater Twin Cities area.

Authorities routinely conduct sting operations coinciding with large US sporting events. This year's Super Bowl in Atlanta resulted in 169 arrests.

More than 5,100 cases of human trafficking were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2018.

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