U.S. Attorney Works to Stop Human Trafficking in Western ND - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

U.S. Attorney Works to Stop Human Trafficking in Western ND

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For the past year or so, law enforcement in Western North Dakota has been seeing an increase in human trafficking cases.

In October last year, the US States Attorney launched the "Vigilant Guardian" operation in Williston and Dickinson to try to stop prostitution.

Tim Purdon says in just one weekend in Dickinson, they arrested 11 people after posing as an underage girl on Craigslist.

Purdon says they are using a 3-pronged approach to battle the issue.. the first is treating the girls as victims, rather than arresting them for prostitution.

The second is attacking the demand with sting operations.

The third is going after the traffickers and charging them accordingly.

"Our hometowns are developing big city crime problems and we have to fight back and make sure that places in Western North Dakota remain places that people, they don't just want to work there, but they want to raise their family there. That they're good, solid communities. The kind of communities that we've taken for granted for so many years," US States Attorney Tim Purdon said.

Purdon says they will continue the Vigilant Guardian stings to help fight human trafficking across North Dakota.

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