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Minnesota man charged with running sex trafficking ring from behind bars

Daniel David Ellington, 38, was charged in Washington County on two counts of sex trafficking and two counts of promotion of prostitution, according to a news release Thursday, May 16, from County Attorney Pete Orput.


Officials arrest 58 for ‘soliciting children for sex’ in lead up to NCAA Final Four championship in Minnesota

Police in Minnesota have arrested 58 people who allegedly attempted to solicit children for sex as a part of a trafficking sting operation staged during the NCAA Final Four Basketball championship. The sting led to the rescue of at last 28 victims of trafficking, including one minor, according to state officials.


St. Cloud Man Gets 20 Years For Sex Trafficking Charges

A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for multiple sex trafficking and prostitution promotion charges involving two women, including a juvenile. In June 2017, the woman reported a domestic assault involving Woods because she “refused to post in St. Cloud for prostitution,” according to court documents. Woods was arrested, and the woman described an ongoing abusive relationship with him.


Human trafficking investigators see results in 9 months with ‘dedicated resources’

The Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force has seen roughly as much activity in its first nine months of full-time work as it did in four years of part-time work, according to officials. From April 2018 to the end of December, 62 sex buyers and eight traffickers were charged in Stearns County, officials reported. “I don’t think there’s any case out there that’s more complicated or dynamic than these types of cases in sex trafficking,” said Jeff Oxton, St. Cloud assistant police chief. “And so that’s why we need the dedicated resources.”


FBI Minneapolis helps recover sex trafficking victims, makes arrest in nationwide sting

Tuesday, the FBI seized www.supermatchescort.com, the organization’s website, as well as 25 sub sites off that main page and about 500 other domains. A 46-year-old man named Zongtao Chen was the leader of the criminal enterprise. He is a Canadian national living in Toronto, Canada.


Hotel employees across Minnesota now trained to spot signs of sex trafficking

Industry experts say the training is designed to create a level of awareness – especially in suspicious situations. “It’s those things that are out of the ordinary,” said Howard Anderson, a longtime member of the Minnesota Lodging Association. “People are asking for exit rooms, near exits, or they want to pay cash. They don’t want to give their license plates.”


Our View: Learn to spot sex trafficking

Sexual exploitation and the buying and selling of our children and vulnerable others “happens here in Duluth every day,” Shunu Shrestha of the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault, or PAVSA, said in an interview a year ago with the News Tribune Editorial Board.


Federal jury convicts 5 on charges they operated huge sex trafficking ring

The five defendants, from California, Texas and Illinois, were convicted in St. Paul, Minnesota on a range of counts including conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, money laundering and sex trafficking by use of force, fraud and coercion. Traffickers used phony bank accounts, created fictitious biographies and set up fraudulent marriages to assist the victims in getting visas. The women were forced to have sex with as many as 10 men a day, then told to pay back debts of $40,000 to 60,000, prosecutors said.


Local experts warn about cyber threats to kids

The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines “sextortion” as “a serious crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them images of a sexual nature, sexual favors or money.”


3 men charged after child-sex solicitation sting

ST. CLOUD — Three men were arrested last week and charged on counts of soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct after a sting by local law enforcement, according to Stearns County criminal complaints.