7 arrested in A.L. sex trafficking sting

Published 2:08 pm Thursday, May 19, 2016

Seven people were arrested in Albert Lea last Friday for solicitation of prostitution in a joint effort by three law enforcement agencies.

The Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office arrested the following people for solicitation of prostitution:

  • Timothy Allen Hellman, 52, of Albert Lea

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    Jorge Sanchez-Ramirez, 35, of Austin

  • Sharnaye Latrice Scroggins, 25, of Austin

  • Nikita Marie Finley, 26, of Claremont

  • Gregory Russell Bass, 55, of Mason City

  • Cody William Embrock, 22, of Rochester

  • Uday Kumar Thakella, 27, of Rochester

The operation was conducted with help from the Plymouth Police Department. The operation was part of law enforcement’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

Albert Lea Police Department Detective Deb Flatness said advertisements were placed on a website. The men arrested reportedly responded to them and were arrested after making the agreement and making payment.

Officers responded to advertisements placed by Scroggins and Finley. The women reportedly came to Albert Lea and were arrested.

Flatness noted a vast majority of people involved in the sex trade are young women and children, adding oftentimes the victims are desperate and feel they have no other way to survive.

She said the operation was the sixth that has taken place in Albert Lea, noting it is part of a statewide effort to deter men from buying sex. They hope to warn the victims about the illegal activity and offer them information on how to get out of the sex trade.

She said this operation started in spring 2013, noting the Police Department plans to conduct the compliance checks in the future.

The following mugshots are listed in the above list’s order:

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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