11 arrested in undercover human trafficking operation in St. Paul

Eleven people were arrested after authorities say they attempted to solicit minors for sex or promoted prostitution, and four victims were recovered from trafficking situations.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), investigations with the BCA-led Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force and the St. Paul Police Department used undercover agents posed as minors or sex buyers to chat with suspects online. 

The suspects were then arrested as they arrived at an arranged meeting place for an encounter, the BCA said. 

Ten people were arrested for probable cause felony solicitation of a minor under the age of 18 for prostitution and one person was arrested for probable cause felony promotion of prostitution. Charges against the suspects are expected in the coming days, the BCA said. 

"We are committed to helping Minnesota’s trafficking victims escape the reprehensible actions of those who would buy or sell them for sex," BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said in a press release. "Our predatory crimes agents will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and advocates to end this terrible crime in Minnesota."

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of being trafficked, call 911. To report a suspected trafficking situation, call the BCA at 877-996-6222 or email bca.tips@state.mn.us. The Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force (MNHTITF) provides statewide law enforcement response for the Human Trafficking National Hotline. Victims can get help by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or send the text HELP to 233733.