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IN A CLICK The Internet opens a world
of possibilities for pimps,
but it opens doors for
law enforcement, too

‘The second part’
finally arrives,

For agents, willing
buyers easy to find,


alking to seventh-graders in the small town certain street
of Scranton, N.D., this past November, corner or strip. It’s the
Windie Lazenko told students that even Internet. Backpage and other
they aren’t immune from pimps. more obscure sites host the ads
They may not be in a big city and they may have that connect johns and women.
safe, secure homes, but potential traffickers may be It has put Backpage, the most
watching every time they log online, she warned. well-known of the sites, at the
“With the Internet, every single one of you kids center of a legal and political debate.
is at risk,” said Lazenko, who herself was first While many are quick to blame
prostituted when she was around their age. the Internet for helping prostitution
Lazenko’s November visit to the school was part flourish, others point out it’s a new
of her ongoing work in western North Dakota, tool for investigators to help crack
fighting the increase in prostitution and down on the crime.
trafficking brought on largely by the oil boom. “With pimps advertising on the
It’s an unlikely topic, one many of the kids in Internet, they out themselves and now
the town less than 300 hadn’t heard about before they’re trackable,” said Lois Lee, founder of
Lazenko’s talk. But increasingly across western Children of the Night, a California-based
North Dakota, communities are opening their nonprofit that rescues children from pimps.
eyes – or rather, being forced to see that In online stings, agents post ads, posing as
commercial sex is all around them. pimps, and communicate with potential johns in
To many who remember history, the sex trade is increasingly common operations throughout
no surprise: These are mining towns after all, used western North Dakota.
to a “work hard, play hard” approach to life and They see incredible demand.
aware that companionship for hire is available.
But this time, the prostitution “track” isn’t a CONNECT: Page A4


Parents say 17-year-old who was killed

Business ..............A6-7
INSIDE TODAY’S Classifieds ........ C5-10
FORUM Comics .................. C9
Crosswords ...... C8, C9
Metro/State.......... C1-4
Obituaries ........ A3, A8
in bus crash was trying to save others
Opinion .................. A9 Cassidy rushed to front when driver slumped over, Sandstroms say
Variety ................ B1-6
Sports.................. D1-5 By Sarah Volpenhein ter, Cassidy Sandstrom, Board, confirmed the mes- what happened in the
Forum News Service rushed to the front of the sage was written by the moments leading up to the
Today’s weather LARIMORE, N.D. – The bus when Max Danner, the Sandstroms. crash from other students
parents of the 17-year-old 62-year-old school bus driv- The message conflicts on the bus.
왖 13° girl killed in the train-bus er, “slumped over” in his with what North Dakota Seventeen-year-old Cas-
collision out- chair, with the bus stopped Highway Patrol investiga- sidy Sandstrom, a senior at
왔 8° side Lari- on the railroad tracks east tors have said, namely that Larimore High School, was
more, N.D., of Larimore. they believe Danner’s driv- seated at the back of the bus
Snow early, windy Monday say The email’s contents were ing was not impaired by any when she “realized what
Details, D6 their daugh- posted to Facebook and kind of medical condition, was happening” and rushed
NATION+WORLD: ter died try- were shared more than 1,000 at least at this point in the to the front of the bus, ush-
Terror alert on high ing to save times from one Facebook investigation. ering the other students
in Paris after armed the busload of user’s page as of 10 p.m. “Our thoughts right now toward the emergency door
Cassidy students from Wednesday, with hundreds are he failed to provide a at the back of the bus, the
attackers storm office Sandstrom an oncoming of social media users hail- safe stopping distance,” Lt. email says.
of satirical magazine, train. ing Cassidy Sandstrom as a Troy Hischer, of the High- In the email, the Sand-
killing 12 people. $1.50 In an email to family and hero. way Patrol, said on Tuesday. stroms say their daughter
(Suggested retail price) friends, Judy and Paul Jennifer Johnson, presi- The Sandstroms say in the
PAGE A2 Copyright 2015 The Forum Sandstrom say their daugh- dent of the Larimore School email that they heard about TEEN: Back Page
A4 Thursday, January 8, 2015 INVESTIGATIVE SERIES

Forum News Service
takes on the issue of
human trafficking and
female exploitation
in this seven-part
in-depth reporting series.
We explore the emerging
crisis as it unfolds in the
Oil Patch of western
North Dakota, as well as
in Minnesota and South

A Booming Crisis
Understanding the
global human trafficking
crisis and its connection
to the Oil Patch of
western North Dakota,
where an influx of men
and money in recent
years has brought an
increased demand for
commercial sex.

The Game

We take a deeper
psychological look at
pimp control, which is
the manipulation of
often already vulnerable
women. Pimps are I think this is especially
masters at making
unwanted, perhaps
concerning here because the
discarded women feel defendant was in the home of so
many local adolescent girls via
their computers. He was in their
Difficulty homes ... to sexually exploit them.
in Detection
How is human
trafficking detected?
Hospitals, hotels and Agents had to shut down a fall 2013 sting in Dickinson MINNESOTA MAN DARRIN ANDERSON, WHO IS
other groups are taking because the responses came to the Craigslist and Backpage ads SERVING 12 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
various steps to detect so quickly that the arrests soon overwhelmed officers.
and report possible “It’s mind-blowing,” Dickinson police Det. Sgt. Kylan Klauzer
human trafficking. said of the general demand. “We’re definitely not immune to it. hundreds of girls using a fake Facebook profile, purporting to
It’s here, and it’s close.” be a cute younger boy. One conversation led to him arranging
Agents say if they had the resources to run operations more commercial sex with a 13-year-old girl. Over roughly two years,
WEDNESDAY often, they would easily catch more johns. he engaged in 800 Facebook chat conversations with, most of
Prosecuting A Forum News Service analysis of data collected by the time, 14- to 17-year-old girls in the Red River Valley region.
independent group Marinus Analytics shows escort ads on one To get the girls to talk to him, he would say they had a mutual
Prostitution prominent website have not only grown tremendously in North friend, or she had “popped up” on his Facebook scroll, or he
Conversation, rather Dakota, but that in recent months they’ve surpassed the just added her as a friend because she was attractive.
than arrest and amount of ads in Minnesota, where Duluth and the Twin Cities He would send them sexually explicit photos despite their
interrogation, is one of are recognized longtime trafficking hubs. protest, and convince some to send pictures back.
the tactics officers are “We don’t know how many cases there are, we don’t know “I think this is especially concerning here because the
using today to gain how many prostitutes there are, we don’t know how common defendant was in the home of so many local adolescent girls via
information about this is,” North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said their computers,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Puhl said at
traffickers and put them in an interview. “We just know when we do a sting, we never Anderson’s May 2011 sentencing. “He was in their homes … to
behind bars. It’s no easy have a shortage of people who are looking.” sexually exploit them.”
task. While going after The case showed how easily predators can find their prey
traffickers is a priority, THE DEBATE OVER BACKPAGE with the Internet: Of the roughly 800 girls Anderson reached
those cases are difficult On an average day in fall 2014, Backpage had pages of out to, 795 responded, Puhl said at a sex trafficking conference
to prove. commercial sex ad galleries for Oil Patch cities. North Dakota in Sioux Falls last August.
frequently has 150 to 200 ads every day, with Williston and “I was shocked to see how many of these girls communicated
Minot being the most popular cities. with him,” she said.
TODAY But still, the demand outpaces supply. Women say when they Emily Kennedy, CEO of Marinus Analytics, said the goal of
post an ad in the state, the phone rings off the hook, and right the project that involves analyzing online ads was to see how
Making the away. The posts even occasionally include offers to do “out- technology has opened new avenues for criminals, especially
Connection calls” to smaller towns like Belfield, Stanley and Tioga. pimps. “Technology really enables them to expand their
The Internet has “If it disappeared tomorrow, I’d be happy,” Sen. Heidi market, to keep their identities safe while still exploiting these
become the new Heitkamp, D-N.D., said of Backpage at a Bismarck sex girls,” she said.
battleground for sex trafficking training in September. When grouped with South Dakota and Minnesota, North
trafficking. It’s where But talk of simply shutting Backpage down is quickly met Dakota’s share of ads on one prominent ads site has grown
women and traffickers with concerns from many fighting trafficking, who say that substantially, according to an FNS analysis of Marinus’ data. In
go to promote sex for would simply lead to the ads popping up on smaller sites less 2012, North Dakota made up 12.4 percent of the ads in the three
sale, but it’s also a likely to cooperate with investigations. states, and through November of last year, the Peace Garden
powerful tool for law The Association of Attorneys General successfully pressured State made up 45 percent.
enforcement in arresting Craigslist to shut down its adult listings page in 2010. Now the Now Marinus works with various law enforcement agencies
them. majority of state attorneys general, including Stenehjem, have to find evidence or establish timelines for trafficking
taken on new frontrunner Backpage, which has resisted taking investigations.
down its “escorts” ads. The company says the ads would just Speaking at a sex trafficking conference in Sioux Falls last
FRIDAY migrate to international or more obscure sites, hindering law year, Facebook’s Monika Bickert acknowledged how sites like
enforcement efforts. When Craigslist shut down, its ads just hers can be attractive to pimps for recruiting victims and then
Squaring Up migrated elsewhere, including to Backpage, and a similar threatening or coercing them, or to arrange transactions. But
Law enforcement and phenomenon could happen if Backpage shuts down, except the Bickert, head of global policy management with the website,
victim service providers ads would go deeper underground. said there’s another way to look at it.
in North Dakota are Liz McDougall, general counsel for Backpage, has been the “They may feel the Internet is a really powerful tool for
identifying more victims carrier of an unconventional message: Yes, the site houses them,” she said, “but I have to say I think the Internet is a
of sex trafficking, but the prostitution ads. But it’s responsible about it, responding to much more powerful tool for those who are fighting against
closest dedicated subpoenas quickly and reporting possible cases of trafficking human trafficking.”
shelter for trafficking to law enforcement, who can then take advantage of the
victims is more than 500 footprint criminals leave online. ‘WHY IS IT OUR BUSINESS?’
miles away. She expanded on that in a statement she wrote for Forum Leaders in the fight against sex trafficking say the root
News Service: problem is society’s willingness to accept the buying of sex,
“Unless the Internet is wholly shut down, the end result of and that “boys will be boys” – a problem amplified in an oil
SATURDAY this strategy will be that our children are advertised through boom.
What’s Next? offshore websites who do not endeavor to prevent such activity, “We have a whole culture now that has become, I think,
Human trafficking will be who do not report potential cases of exploitation to law desensitized to the innocence of children, number one, and
a major topic of enforcement, who do not expeditiously cooperate with law desensitized to how horrific something like this is, in fact it’s
discussion in the next enforcement to rescue victims and arrest pimps – and who are the kind of attitude of ‘Willing buyer, willing seller, why is it
legislative session, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law enforcement so they can our business?’ ” Heitkamp said.
including a proposal to thumb their noses at U.S. law enforcement requests, even pleas, “What I would tell them is probably some of the most horrific
adopt a new uniform law for evidence to find a child or stop a perpetrator.” victimization in this country happens in those relationships,
on human trafficking. Talking by phone one November night from Lyon, France, and so we have to have a change in societal attitude about
where she and McDougall had just attended an INTERPOL human trafficking, about prostitution and about the value of
conference on trafficking, Children of the Night’s Lee lauded children.”
JAN. 11 Backpage’s cooperation with law enforcement, saying it’s better
than any other social network.
Boomtown prostitution opens a lucrative field for pimps, who
know those selling sex willingly will never meet the demand,
The Documentary Along with enabling a flourishing commercial sex trade, the and word of the oilfield market is spreading fast through pimp
WDAY’s Kevin Internet marketplace can make the individual crime harder to networks and in larger cities like Minneapolis and Milwaukee.
Wallevand digs deeper see. Before the Internet age, johns and the women would have The Internet fuels that.
into sex trafficking in to go to a physical location to find each other, said Tim Pimps are bringing their “stables” of women to North
North Dakota in a Wittman, a supervisory special agent with the FBI’s Dakota, or sending women on their own after first filling their
30-minute Minneapolis office. “But with the Internet facilitating it,” he heads with threats of violence or what will happen to their
documentary-style said, “it can maybe escape the community’s notice on a wide families if they don’t come back with their quotas filled.
news program, airing at level.” Motels and hotels around the Oil Patch have had to maintain
10:35 p.m. Sunday. But the sites – like Facebook, with 1.3 billion regular users – blacklists of women they suspect of operating there, and john
do also lead to criminals unwittingly documenting their crimes stings show how easy it is to catch the low-hanging fruit: men
in ways helpful to prosecutors. cruising the Internet.
ONLINE Tim Purdon, U.S. attorney for North Dakota, said someone’s Agents say they hope to get to the traffickers eventually, but
Many additional stories, own words can be “incredibly valuable evidence” against them. that in the meantime, the stings may deter some men who,
photos, videos and Prosecutors used hundreds of chat logs obtained from lonely but wealthy, give in to curiosity and log on to the
more can be found at Facebook with a search warrant in the case against Darrin “” they’ve heard so much about at work. Anderson, a Minnesota man now serving 12 years in federal “The condition of the men here, they’re vulnerable and the
prison. traffickers know that,” Lazenko said. “The men are being
Anderson, in his mid-30s at the time, communicated with exploited on a whole ’nother level.”


INVESTIGATIVE SERIES Thursday, January 8, 2015 A5


After pointing gun “And the rage came over me
like, ‘How could you call me a
exploiting her, and she began
mending relationships with her
bitch? You have no idea what I children, including the son who
at son, Jenny begins just did for this money to get
this [expletive] phone and
left after she pointed a gun at
to mend relationships you’re going to call me
something that one of these
It was the start of what would
come to be known in Jenny’s
dudes used to call me? You, my circle as “the second part.”
By Katherine Lymn son, my ride-or-die baby, Arrell, her mother, says she
Forum News Service really?’ ” heard a voice one day when she

enny Gaines’ mother remembers a child She got a gun, pointed it at This is the life of Jenny was doing laundry and walked
who organized neighborhood activities, him and told him to leave. Gaines. Lured into sex by her daughter, then just a
got involved in acrobatics and theater “I was never going to shoot trafficking at age 14, she baby.
and did homework with “Little House on him,” she says now of that cold spent 28 years in a life of Her daughter was going to
the Prairie” on TV in the background. Friday night. “I only wanted to prostitution. Throughout the cause her a lot of pain, the voice
Things changed as “little Jenny” grew into scare him, but it was wrong. He past six months, Forum News said, but there would be a
her teens. She argued more, started making bad was so afraid, because he’s seen Service has spent time second part to the mother-
choices and her years quickly became filled me do some pretty violent stuff getting to know Jenny. This is daughter relationship. The pain
with stays in various treatment programs. and he didn’t know if I was her story. would only last a little while,
Jenny longed for her father, who was the fun going to do it or not.” she recalls the voice telling her,
one, and she was angry at her mother, who He packed his bags and left. and then Jenny would go on to
made the rules. A “daddy’s girl,” she blamed She wouldn’t talk to her son for help a lot of people.
her mom for her parents’ divorce, not knowing a year. Arrell, who lives in
about her dad’s addiction issues. Jenny’s family told her over and over to let it Minneapolis now, never lost faith in what she
“All of a sudden there she was; it’s like a go, to accept that her son was gone. She moved calls the prophecy.
person I didn’t really know, like this hardcore, to an apartment in Minneapolis’ Uptown After her Jenny started wearing heavy
makeup, angry,” Diana Arrell, Jenny’s mother, neighborhood, a place that reminded her of makeup, having angry fits and becoming
said. “I mean, she was such a delightful child. I New York. violent, Arrell would dream about the daughter
didn’t really understand who it was I was And she tried to let it go, the hurt and who was. “Dream Jenny,” with her stringy hair,
seeing.” emptiness. her little goggles, her yellow nightgown, would
Jenny’s years-long transformation out of the She did all the drugs she wanted and turned visit from the Land of the Dead, Arrell said.
dark life she had fallen into accelerated six all the tricks she wanted. She found herself in
And through the rocky stays in treatment, the
years ago when she pointed a gun at her then- violent relationship after violent relationship.
And then one day, she realized she wasn’t suicide attempts, the arrests – Arrell would
12-year-old son.
“there” anymore. She was all used up. think about the promise of the second part of
After doing something degrading a john had
requested, something she normally wouldn’t She was evicted from her apartment and fell the prophecy, and she would become impatient.
do, so she could afford the cellphone her son into a deep depression. Getting dressed took “I thought it was just gonna be a short time.
wanted, Jenny found her son had programmed three hours, she said. What’s with this years and years and years and
her number in the phone under a derogatory With the next call that came, she made a years?”
name. friend who helped her without sexually In those difficult moments, Jenny would ask
herself, “Is this really the end of this?” Was her
personal struggle coming to an end?

“No,” she told herself. “My testimony isn’t
strong enough yet. No, ’cause I’m gonna help
people one day. It’s just not powerful enough.”
Jenny’s son was close to his grandmother,
I was never going to shoot him. I only wanted to scare him, who had told him about the vision. He would
turn to her and ask, “Well, do you think we’re
but it was wrong. He was so afraid, because he’s seen me do in the second part of the prophecy?”
some pretty violent stuff and he didn’t know if I was going to It was in those moments, Jenny and her
mother say now, that the “second part” finally
do it or not. arrived.


By Katherine Lymn
Forum News Service

The arrival of texts and emails sounds
repeatedly from phones and laptops in
this bustling suite on the fourth floor of
one of Bismarck’s nicer hotels.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agents
have posted ads on Backpage and Craigslist,
offering sex for sale.
The group is dressed comfortably for the long
night ahead of them. They could be getting ready
for the weekend, but not this Friday night.
Instead they are actors, posing as pimps
marketing sex with underage girls.
Ding. Another potential customer, another
willing buyer.
The sting, led by Internet Crimes against
Children agents, was like many that occur in
western North Dakota now, whether on a small AMY DALRYMPLE / FORUM NEWS SERVICE
scale within local police departments or on a larger
scale like this one. It’s one way experts say the Local, state and federal law enforcement agents conduct a sting operation Sept. 5, 2014, at a
Internet opens doors for law enforcement in Bismarck hotel that targeted buyers of commercial sex with minors.
addition to opportunistic pimps.
Forum News Service was granted special access
in September to observe a sting. [expletive] shoot me. My life’s over.’ ” was forced to service 68 men in one day.
As a chat develops between the agents – posing as Back at a makeshift headquarters, agents chat “I realized hell’s gonna be full,” Fontenot said.
pimps – and the men who are responding, the agents and plan, replacing ads as their host sites remove The sting that night, also a training exercise for
reveal the offer for sex is actually with an underage them. The TV show “Law and Order: SVU” – special officers who hadn’t participated in such an
girl. Many of the men stop chatting and move on. victims unit – plays in the background. operation before, netted one human trafficking
Others are undeterred or even enticed by the idea Ding, ding, ding. arrest and another days later from the same set of
of sex with an underage girl. They are instructed Another agent tracks requests in an Excel ads. Similar stings in the state have captured johns
on where to meet her. spreadsheet, collecting the age of the child the man at rates that show the demand is there, and that a
The ones who show up at the hotel are directed to thinks he’s meeting, the acts he has requested, the man’s first stop when looking to pay for sex is the
a particular room, a room where a knock on the price he has agreed to pay. Web.
door will make prosecutors’ cases and change the The 20 agents take eight hotel rooms,
men’s lives. three for the operation and five for sleep.
Ding. Many have traveled for this, and it’s a long
In two “arrest rooms,” agents pass the time commitment.
playing video games and snacking until a john Responses kept coming, questions,
comes knocking. requests for pictures.
There’s a female agent in each room and she The chats leading to potential meetups
serves as the voice behind the door. quickly become nauseating, the men
When the would-be john enters, it’s “a guns-out rushing to see what they can get. The
scenario,” says Rob Fontenot, a state Bureau of younger a girl looks in a picture, the faster
Criminal Investigation agent who periodically the offers come, Fontenot says.
checks out each staging area, grabbing snacks from He doesn’t try to disguise his disgust.
each room as he goes. “There’s no way of making sense of what
And then the men are in handcuffs, and they see these guys want to do to kids.”
the bulletproof vests, Tasers and badges. At a national training session Fontenot
“They physically can’t move a lot of times,” attended to learn more about human
Fontenot says. “We’ve had people say, ‘Just trafficking, he heard about a woman who