Grant to fight human trafficking leads to 9 arrests in Bemidji
January 9, 2017
BEMIDJI—A grant obtained by the Bemidji Police Department to help fight human trafficking has resulted in charges against nine people according to Police Chief Mike Mastin.
The charges against each individual vary, Mastin said, but are all related to sexual contact with minors. Though the effort has been ongoing for a year, at least four of the arrests were made since Dec. 16.
"The goal obviously is to rescue and protect children from sex trafficking or this type of abuse," Mastin said. "We want to eliminate the demand for this, and ultimately we want perpetrators to believe that everyone they communicate with, especially online, is an undercover police officer."