20 accused of solicitation of prostitution, human trafficking

Over the span of three months, 20 individuals were arrested resulting from an undercover operation. The Minnesota authorities suspect that these persons were involved in prostitution and sex trafficking crimes. They each face a formal complaint charge in relation to solicitation of prostitution.

The focus of the operation was to target human trafficking and sex crimes in our state. The South Central Drug Investigation Unit cooperated with the Rochester Police Department's Street Crimes Unit as well as several other local and state law enforcement authorities from 11 different counties. These officers received training specific to fighting human trafficking and other sex crimes with regards to victimization as well as current legal updates.

The sting operation occurred at cooperating hotels on three different dates: Feb. 19, March 20 and April 7. Two people were arrested in February, 10 were arrested in March and the last eight were arrested in April. As of now, the 20 people face formal complaint charges related to prostitution, and each person was released from police custody after being booked.

Despite the fact that the officers claim to have adequately trained in preparation for the prostitution and human trafficking sting operations, mistakes still could have been made during the actual arrest processes. If any mistakes were made, it could impact each person's criminal defense. The defendants would do well to analyze every aspect of their case in order to ensure that the proper procedures were followed. In the meantime, these 20 accused persons still have specific legal rights granted to them in Minnesota, and they would also do well to protect these rights throughout the process.

Source: kimt.com, "20 people arrested in human trafficking and sex crime bust", Jeron Rennie, April 17, 2015

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