WORTHINGTON - A recent undercover sex sting resulted in three arrests and a string of charges related to the allegation that three out-of-town men traveled to Worthington with the intent to exchange money for sex with a minor.
According to court documents, multiple law enforcement agencies met Oct. 11 in Worthington in connection to an undercover operation led by the Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force aimed at targeting adults who solicit minors for commercial sex.
The undercover agent played the role of a soon-to-be 16-year-old female and discussed payment for sex services with each of the defendants.
According to similar criminal complaints, Eric Tran, 21, of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Troy L. Remmers, 50, of Hartley, Iowa, allegedly responded to an advertisement previously posted on a website commonly used for the advertisement and solicitation of commercial sex. Both were arrested when they arrived at a Worthington location they expected to meet the 15-year-old female they intended to have sex with.
A third defendant arrested as part of the sting, Samuel Devries, 26, of Orange City, Iowa, also allegedly engaged in sexual electronic communication with whom he believed to be a 15-year-old. He was also arrested last week after arriving with condoms and case at a Worthington location where he expected to meet the minor female. His lawyer, Patrick Casey, filed a motion Monday calling for the case’s dismissal, citing lack of probable cause for Devries’ arrest.
Each of the three defendants face the following charges: third-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct; fourth-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct; prostitution of an individual believed to be between ages 13 and 16 years old; solicitation of child or believed child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct; engage in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with child; and distribute electronic communication material that relates/describes sexual conduct to a child, all felonies.
Devries’ and Tran’s conditional bail was scheduled at $10,000 and unconditional at $30,000, whereas Remmers’ conditional bail was set at $15,000 and his unconditional at $30,000.
The last known undercover sex sting was conducted in February 2017 by the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. A number of those cases have resolved and resulted in county jail sentences.