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Crow Wing County assists in Twin Cities human trafficking sting

Crow Wing County Investigator Craig Katzenberger was among several Minnesota law enforcement officers who took part in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension-led human trafficking operating in the Twin Cities April 4-8, during the Final Four College...

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Photo illustration, Metro Creative Graphics, Inc.

Crow Wing County Investigator Craig Katzenberger was among several Minnesota law enforcement officers who took part in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension-led human trafficking operating in the Twin Cities April 4-8, during the Final Four College Basketball Tournament.

As a result of the operation, nearly 60 people face possible felony charges following their arrests for trafficking or attempting to solicit children for sex, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Twenty-eight victims, including one minor, were rescued from trafficking situations.

Collaboration of officers specially trained to locate and apprehend online predators takes place during various times throughout the year and for large events. Crow Wing County Sheriff Scott Goddard said these stings also happen in Crow Wing County and have proven successful in the past.

"The sad reality is that people use the internet and its various applications to seek out and victimize people in many ways, including for sexual purposes," Goddard stated in a news release. "We are fortunate in Crow Wing County to have a specialized investigator who primarily focuses on crimes related to the internet, which includes protecting our children from harm."

Goddard asked parents to pay close attention to their children's online activity and to report any suspicious scam or predatory behavior to his office by calling 218-829-4749. The public can also visit www.crowwing.us/92/Sheriff for parent resources on various topics related to scams and internet safety.

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If anyone is in immediate danger of being trafficked or knows someone who is, call 911. To report a suspected trafficking situation, call the BCA at 877-996-6222 or email bca.tips@state.mn.us .

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