More than 20 arrested in human-trafficking sweep

The extensive investigation involves members of a Somali gang. The arrests appear to be focused in Minneapolis, Richfield, Brooklyn Park, St. Paul and several southern suburbs.


By JAMES WALSH, DAVID CHANEN and ALLIE SHAH, Star Tribune Staff Writers
Monday, November 08, 2010

Federal and local investigators swept through the Twin Cities area Monday and arrested more than 20 suspects in connection to an extensive human trafficking investigation involving members of a Somali gang, sources confirmed.

The arrests appear to be focused in Minneapolis, Richfield, Brooklyn Park, St. Paul and several southern suburbs in an operation led by the U.S. attorney's office in Nashville, Tenn. Indictments against nearly 30 suspects were expected to be unsealed later Monday. The U.S. attorney was expected to issue a statement regarding the case later Monday morning.

The case is connected to a Somali girl w

ho, according to court documents, was forced to work as prostitute by members of a Somali gang. Sources say the investigation, however, goes beyond human trafficking.

A leader in the local Somali community said he had heard around 7 a.m Monday that the FBI "went to the individuals' houses."

"We don't have the names [of the people arrested]," said Dahir Jibreel, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center. "We are very interested to know the names of these people."

Investigators from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the FBI and several local police departments were part of the action.

The U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee scheduled at 11 a.m. news conference, to be joined by ICE Director John Morton and other local, state and federal law enforcement officials, announcing "significant developments and arrests in an ongoing criminal investigation."

James Walsh • 612-673-7428

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