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Man sentenced to 3 years in prostitution case

A Brainerd man was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for attempting to recruit an undercover officer into prostitution. Antwon Gilbert Robinson, 43, in May pleaded guilty to attempted solicitation/inducement of prostitution, a felony o...

A Brainerd man was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for attempting to recruit an undercover officer into prostitution.

Antwon Gilbert Robinson, 43, in May pleaded guilty to attempted solicitation/inducement of prostitution, a felony offense, in Olmsted County District Court in Rochester. Robinson, known as "Gucci" locally, was arrested in Brainerd in February after arranging to meet an undercover officer, who he believed to be a sex worker, at the bus stop at McDonald's, 521 W. Washington St.

According to the criminal complaint, Robinson responded to a fictional profile created by Rochester police on a social media site that included the use of slang terms familiar in the sex trafficking world. Using the pseudonym "Ben T," Robinson sent messages to the fictional 18-year-old woman, inquiring whether she was interesting in joining his team in Brainerd.

After corresponding back and forth several times, Robinson purchased a bus ticket to bring the woman to Brainerd, where he intended to allow her to "turn tricks" in a bedroom at his home.

On February 21, Robinson went to the bus stop to meet the woman and was met instead by law enforcement. He denied he was seeking to recruit the woman into sex work at the scene, stating he thought the woman was homeless and wanted to help her find a job.

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Robinson was given credit for time served, which was 124 days. His sentence will be served at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud.

Robinson's arrest prompted local law enforcement to begin planning a prostitution sting operation, led by the Baxter Police Department and assisted by the Brainerd Police Department and the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office. That operation yielded eight men charged with soliciting prostitution in a public place, a gross misdemeanor offense.

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