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Associated Press, Published September 23 2010

Document: Somali gangs linked to Minnesota-based prostitution ring

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A document briefly unsealed in state court in Minnesota shows authorities are looking for suspects in a Minnesota-based prostitution ring linked to Somali gangs.

The search warrant affidavit also shows the ring has an apparent connection to Tennessee.

The document, obtained by KSTP-TV before it was placed under seal, alleges a 15-year-old girl was being controlled by Somali gangs and "promoted into prostitution." The document describes the sex ring as large scale.

The document says the girl recently testified about the ring in federal court in Nashville, Tenn.

Authorities got a search warrant for the girl's cell phone records. The document says authorities hoped the cell phone search would lead to suspects or other victims.

Minnesota authorities referred questions Thursday to the U.S. attorney's office in Tennessee, which would neither confirm nor deny that there was an investigation.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.