ENTITY reports Minnesota police officer human trafficking

Here’s some terrifying news. Several men in Minnesota, including a police chief, were arrested as part of a human sex trafficking sting.

Michael Zeug, the police chief in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, is one of three men arrested last Friday. He was charged with felony prostitution and attempting to hire a minor under 18.

According to Redwood County attorney Stephen Collins, Zeug responded to a fake prostitution ad on Craigslist, believing he was texting with a 17-year-old girl.

Little did he know, the “underage girl” was actually an undercover officer working on a multi-agency covert operation targeting the demand for human sex trafficking. BOOM.

According to a complaint, Zueg requested nude pics and offered to pay the girl for sex. The police chief also lied about his occupation, allegedly saying, “I’m just a hard-working farming dude looking for discreet fun.”

ENTITY reports on Minnesota police officer sex trafficking

The worst part is, this case isn’t exactly an outlier. Too often we’ve seen this trend of powerful men in law enforcement abusing the power of their badges.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the last four years of police involvement in human trafficking:

2013: A police officer in Baltimore City was arrested on criminal charges that included prostitution and human trafficking.

2014: Linwood Barnhill Jr. resigned from the D.C. Metro PD and plead guilty to two counts of pandering a minor and one count of possession of child pornography.

2014: Marc Washington, another D.C. police officer, was arrested after allegedly entering the home of a 15-year-old girl and ordering her to remove her clothing while he took nude photos of her.

Later, hundreds of photographs were found on his camera dating back to 2011. He committed suicide soon after he had been charged with creating child pornography.

2016: Mauricio Edgardo Estrada, an officer from the L.A. Unified School District, was charged with attempted sex trafficking of a child and use of the Internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.

2016: An officer from the Chicago PD was charged with trafficking a 14-year-old girl. The charges also included the production of child pornography.

2016: Four Oakland police officers were fired and seven others suspended without pay for their involvement in a sexual misconduct scandal. The officers were charged with attempted sexual assault, engaging in lewd conduct, assisting in the crime of prostitution and accessing law enforcement databases for personal gain.

2016: Four Richmond police officers were fired as a result of allegations made by a teenage sex-trafficking victim who claims she had sex with over a dozen law enforcement officers.

The officers were fired after a city investigation found documented misconduct between the officers and the victim. five other officers were given official reprimands.

Obviously not all cops are involved in human trafficking but the sheer number of cases I was able to find in short amount of time is, in a word, terrifying.

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