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Six Charged in Human Trafficking Undercover Operation

Updated: 08/26/2014 10:33 PM
Created: 08/26/2014 8:08 AM WDIO.com

Five Northland men are charged with prostitution while another was arrested for child enticement following an undercover operation, according to the Superior Police Department.

 

Along with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Duluth Police, and the Department of Homeland, Superior police posted fictitious online advertisements offering sexual services.

 

“It’s a disturbing crime, and one way that we can combat it is to target the places online where people who are trafficked have ads and thus target the demograohic or the people out there that are willing to engage or pay for sex services,” Deputy Chief Nicholas Alexander said.

 

Alexander said one advertisement indicated the poster was a 15-year old female. The person who responded to the ad continued to communicate with the undercover officer even though he believed she was 15. He said that person sent pornographic images to a cell phone he thought belonged to the 15-year-old.

 

After communicating with what Alexander said was many people who responded to the ads, they arranged to meet with the responders at a local hotel. He said that’s where the six men were arrested.

 

51-year old Roger Provost of Foxboro, Wis. was the person who police say arrived at the hotel in connection with the young female post. He was arrested for and charged with child enticement and causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity. Alexander said both are felonies and Provost has made his initial appearances in Douglas County Court.

 

The five other men who arrived at the hotel were arrested for prostitution, a class A misdemeanor. Those men were 70-year old Lawrence Albert DePaulis of Nashwauk-Keewatin, who officials say volunteered with the Nashwauk Police Commission for six years. 51-year old John Walter Kontny from Superior, 29-year-old David Leon McCloud from Duluth, 60-year old Wayne Morris Everett from Cloquet and Kale Steven Edinger from Phillips, Wis. were also arrested. All five have also made their initial appearances In Douglas County Court.  

 

Alexander said it’s important to his department to catch people who may be contributing to human trafficking. He said it’s a growing problem both nationally and locally, and the Superior Police will be having more of these operations in the future that he said will take different forms. 

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