Minnesota Law Enforcement agencies teamed up for a human trafficking operation that took place over the past few days in Beltrami County.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force led the operation in cooperation with the Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking Task Force, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and the Bemidji Police Department and resulted in the arrest of six individuals.

All the arrested individuals responded to an ad on a sex advertisement website and were apprehended when they arrived at the arranged meeting place for a commercial sex crime. All the suspects were booked into the Beltrami County Jail while they await charges.

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The six men arrested are, Michael Lee Eichstadt, 56, and Quint Kyle Ironnecklace, 24, of Bemidji, Lance Armon Jones, 39, of Oakville, Washington, Dennis Michael Murphy, 43, of Park Rapids, MN, Matthew Senica, 49, of Illinois, and Philip Edward Toomey, Jr., 48, of Maywood, Missouri.

Two of the men arrested were working for a subcontractor on the Line 3 Replacement Project, according to a statement from Enbridge, both men were immediately fired. They say, "Enbridge and our contractors have zero tolerance for illegal and exploitative actions. That is why we are joining with our contractors and unions to denounce the illegal and exploitive actions of those who participate in sex trafficking."

“This operation was part of our ongoing, collective commitment to rid our communities of sexual exploitation.” BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said. “It is never OK to purchase another person for sex.”

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