Seven men have been charged following a three-day human trafficking sting in northern Minnesota.
The operation took place late last week in Itasca County. The sting was led by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) in partnership with the Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking (TRUST) Task Force and the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office.
According to information released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), during the operation suspects chatted with undercover agents and investigators on several sex advertisement websites. The suspects were arrested for a commercial sex crime as they arrived at an arranged meeting place. All were booked into the Itasca or Pennington County jails.
The men charged range in age from 20 to 56:
Chad Arther Dockendorf, 45, of Grand Rapids, Minn., was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor and 4th degree DWI.
Matthew Ty Hall, 32, of Mount Pleasant, Texas, was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
Derek Wayne Jokinen, 44, of Sawyer, Minn., was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
Bruce Duane Jones, 54, of Goodridge, Minn., was charged with communication of sexually explicit materials to a minor.
Rusty James Marek, 56, of Grand Rapids, Minn., was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
Saihou Adrisa Sissoho, 20, of Chisholm, Minn., was charged with solicitation of a person believed to be a minor.
Michael Kelly West, 53, of Rolla, Mo., was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit and solicitation to engage in prostitution.
“What this operation tells us is that there is demand to sexually exploit young people in Northern Minnesota,” said Itasca County Attorney Matti Adam. “This type of proactive law enforcement effort helps detect those who prey on our young and vulnerable populations. I am thankful that Itasca County could partner with the task force in this effort.”
The Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force was established in 2017 with funding from the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs as a statewide enforcement effort to target traffickers and those exploiting children for sex.
The Task Force is led by the BCA and includes investigators from the St. Paul and Minneapolis police departments, Anoka and Hennepin County sheriff’s offices, Homeland Security Investigations and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
Task force members work in partnership with more than two dozen affiliate agencies to assist local, state and federal criminal justice organizations to identify incidents of human trafficking and apprehend and aid in the prosecution of those who commit such crimes, according to the DPS website.
Many additional agencies lent resources and expertise to the recent operation, including the Fond du Lac, Leech Lake Tribal, Cambridge, Thief River Falls, Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments, the Isanti, Kanabec, Polk, Anoka, Aitkin and Hennepin County sheriff’s offices, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Itasca and Ramsey County attorney’s offices.
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 email@example.com.
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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.