Charges: Minnesota couple operated ‘large-scale’ sex trafficking enterprise; arrest made in Woodbury – Wisconsin News

Charges: Minnesota couple operated ‘large-scale’ sex trafficking enterprise; arrest made in Woodbury – Wisconsin News

According to the criminal complaint filed March 18 in Washington County District Court, the operation offered commercial sex services in more than a dozen other states.

Washington County Major Crimes Prosecutor Imran Ali said the case represented an expansive operation that stretches nationally as well as in Minnesota.

“This is a large-scale, sophisticated enterprise centered around the exploitation of women that’s been going on for several years,” Ali said during a court hearing May 18.

A subpoena requested from Backpage.com revealed advertisements for more than 35 women associated with an account traced to Harenza’s IP address.

Woodbury police arrested Harenza at the Woodbury Country Inn & Suites hotel around 6 p.m. May 16.

Woodbury Det. Chris Howard contacted Harenza through one of the advertisements and arranged to meet her at the hotel as part of a multi-department undercover operation including St. Paul, Oakdale, Cottage Grove and Eden Prairie police.

Harenza was arrested after Howard provided $550, which had been discussed through undercover text messages.

Turner was arrested hours later when Minnetonka police raided the couple’s lakefront home May 16. Authorities said a minor that Turner and Harenza had recruited was present at the home during the arrest.

The arrests came after months of monitoring by authorities in Woodbury, according to the complaint.

Minnetonka police chief Scott Boerboom said his department had been investigating with Woodbury police, but had little prior knowledge of alleged criminal activity operating out of the home until earlier this year.

“We’re not even sure how long they lived…

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