Police arrested nine men in a prostitution sting in the small city of Baxter, Minn. last month after posing online as a fake woman. The sting involved Baxter police, Brainerd police, and the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office.
Several advocacy groups have been complaining about sex trafficking in the area for years.
On May 19, Baxter police placed an advertisement under the "escort" section on Backpage.com of a fictional 22-year-old woman. The website is a classified advertising site that generates nearly 80 percent of all online prostitution advertising revenue, according to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
The fake ad included photos of "Sunny" and stated that she would be in town for one day only. An undercover officer acting as the fictional woman set up appointments with men who called or texted the number provided. The officer told the callers to come to a nearby Baxter hotel to meet her.
The next day, police arrested nine men who knocked on the door of the hotel room. All have addresses in the local area and range from 27 to 71-years-old. They are being charged by the Crow Wing County Attorney's Office for soliciting prostitution in a public place.