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Forum staff reports, Published January 18 2013

Fargo police encouraged by latest prostitution sting

FARGO – Police here say they’re encouraged by the results of their latest prostitution sting, which led to one arrest at a south Fargo motel.

Lt. Joel Vettel said police contacted more than 20 advertisements Thursday for one-on-one dancing services, many of which police believed to be covers for prostitution services.

“Really, the overwhelming theme we got was, ‘We no longer respond to motels because we know that Fargo police are conducting stings at area motels,’ ” Vettel said.

Ebony Michelle Lee, 23, of Minneapolis, was arrested on suspicion of prostitution.

Police had received intelligence from citizens and other law enforcement agencies that some of the ads were connected to the human trafficking of underage girls as prostitutes, but none of the calls to those ads panned out, Vettel said.

The second round of calls focused on online ads and print ads for dancers, he said.

Vettel said police believe that the prostitution stings “have certainly sent this strong message” that those arriving at motel rooms with the intent of engaging in illegal activity have a good chance of being arrested.


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