Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is recognized as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in the United States. For the past two years, the EPPD has made human trafficking prevention and enforcement one of our top priorities.

Investigators from Eden Prairie collaborate with law enforcement personnel from Bloomington, Richfield, Minnetonka, Plymouth and Maple Grove as part of the “494 Corridor Group” with the goal to investigate crimes related to human trafficking along Interstate 494. In 2017 that group conducted seven stings in the five member communities that resulted in 38 arrests and the recovery of 17 victims.

In the past year we also assisted with a high-profile case that started in Washington County and centered on a Lake Minnetonka home. EPPD investigators assisted with surveillance of the residence and provided digital forensics analysis. After four months of investigation, the suspect pleaded guilty to racketeering and sex trafficking and will serve 22 years in prison.

We have been fortunate to have several community groups donate funding and supplies for comfort kits for human trafficking victims that include basic necessities such as food, clothing, gas cards, person hygiene products and hand-knit hats.

If you or someone you know is being sexually exploited or trafficked please call 911 or the Day One crisis line at 1-866-223-1111.