Four alleged pimps have been arrested in the Twin Cities on prostitution charges as part of a three-day nationwide effort, initiated by the FBI, to fight child exploitation.
The national sweep led to the arrest of 150 alleged pimps in 76 cities, the FBI said Monday.
St. Paul police arrested two of the suspects on Thursday, Minneapolis police arrested one person on Friday, and the Anoka County sheriff’s department arrested one on Saturday, said Kyle Loven, chief counsel for the FBI office in Minneapolis.
A 20-month-old child was taken from one residence during the arrests but was not believed to have been involved in the prostitution activities, Loven said.
All four suspects were booked on state and local child exploitation charges, not federal charges, Loven said.
“The national effort was to try and bring attention to the child exploitation human trafficking problem that we have in the United States,” said Loven. “We wanted to get these types of people who were exploiting children off the street.”
It is not known whether the individuals arrested in the Twin Cities are connected to any of the people arrested elsewhere in the country.
Asked how it came about that the local people were arrested at this time, Loven said that a number of investigations were “ripe for the arrests to take place” both locally and around the country.
The FBI had no details on the individual arrests in the Twin Cities.
Howie Padilla, St. Paul police spokesman, said the two men arrested in St. Paul were Ricky Arlen Turner, 25, of Minneapolis and Leneil James Colbert Jr., 23, of St. Paul. Both were charged with suspicion of felony sex trafficking, said Padilla.
They were both arrested at a St. Paul residences, but Padilla did not know if it was the same residence, nor did he know whether the two men collaborated with each other.