Authorities arrest 4 for attempting to have sex with a minor
A former Brainerd City Council candidate is among four men facing felony charges for soliciting a minor for sex.
The arrests came as the result of a three-day investigation last week by area law enforcement officials, who created fictional profiles and placed online advertisements as a proactive solicitation operation, a Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office news release stated.
Arrested were David Leroy Colvin, 61, of Brainerd; Mark Martin Bundgaard, 39, of Breezy Point; James Michael Brooks, 56, of Big Lake; and Michael David Larue, 30, of St. Paul. The sheriff's office expects several additional arrests as a number of cases remain open.
Colvin ran for Brainerd City Council four times, most recently in 2012 when he filed for the at-large seat. He also unsuccessfully ran for Brainerd School Board in 2003.
Bundgaard faces two felony driving while intoxicated charges, in addition to the solicitation charges. Bundgaard served prison time up through 2015, after violating the conditions of probation from a criminal vehicular homicide conviction. Bundgaard was the driver in a 2005 crash killing his passenger, 40-year-old Kenneth Foster, and his blood alcohol concentration was found to be more than twice the legal limit at the time.
According to criminal complaints filed against the men, each of the scenarios involving solicitation of a minor was slightly different.
Colvin, 61, allegedly responded to an advertisement placed by a fictional young man. After the officer posing as the juvenile identified his age as 14 years old, Colvin apparently continued ongoing communication and made arrangements to meet the boy for sex.
The complaint stated Colvin wrote he "can be arrested for having sex with you." When he arrived at the location to meet the fictional boy, he was arrested. Colvin apparently told police if given the opportunity, he would apologize for "trying to have sex with a minor."
Bundgaard, 39, responded to an advertisement indicating a young woman wanted to meet new people. The fictional girl identified herself as 14, and although Bundgaard acknowledged he didn't know she was so young, he allegedly continued conversation that turned sexual in nature. He went on to make arrangements to have sex with the girl in her home, according to the complaint.
When Bundgaard arrived at the designated location and was arrested, an investigator detected a strong odor of alcohol. A preliminary breath test showed Bundgaard had a blood alcohol concentration of .200, and a search of his vehicle revealed a Milwaukee Light beer can in the center cup holder. Once at the jail, Bundgaard refused further alcohol testing. Bundgaard did apparently admit to investigators he intended to meet the girl for sex.
Brooks, 56, also responded to an advertisement by a fictional young woman, the criminal complaint stated. After learning the girl was 14, Brooks allegedly continued communication that turned sexual, sending photos and videos of his genitals.
He arranged to meet the fictional girl to have sex and when Brooks arrived, he was arrested. Brooks apparently admitted to investigators he intended to meet the 14-year-old for sex.
Larue, 30, requested to be friends with what he believed was an 18-year-old woman, the criminal complaint stated. Through text conversations, the fictional person stated she would be 15 years old right after Christmas. Although allegedly acknowledging the girl was under 18, Larue continued conversations and arranged to meet with the girl for the purpose of sex. When he arrived at the prearranged location, he was was arrested.
All four men face three felony charges resulting from the sting operation: soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct, soliciting a child or what is believed to be a child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct, and engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child. Each of these felonies carry penalties of imprisonment not more than three years, a fine no more than $5,000 or both.
Colvin, Brooks and Larue are scheduled to make their next court appearances at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 12. Bundgaard, who remains in custody in the Crow Wing County Jail, is set to appear at 9 a.m. Nov. 15.
Assisting with the operation was the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Baxter and Brainerd police departments.
"Sheriff (Todd) Dahl would like to remind parents to be aware of what your children are viewing and who they are communicating with online," stated the sheriff's office release.