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Woodbury man arrested for using Craigslist to promote prostitution

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news Hastings, 55033
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

A Woodbury resident is facing charges of soliciting a minor as a prostitute in an ad on Craigslist.

Stevon Warren, 50, was arrested Friday, March 18 in downtown Minneapolis after police investigators initiated an undercover investigation that was born out of an advertisement on the popular classifieds website.

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Warren is alleged to have promoted the solicitation of an 18-year old and a 15-year old via the Craigslist ad. He faces two separate charges that have a maximum penalty of 15 years of prison time and $40,000 fine.

Warren, who has a listed residence in the 2400 block of Cobble Hill Court, was released after posting bail, Hennepin County Jail officials said.

The 18-year old female was also arrested and booked on prostitution charges. She told police investigators that she had been prostituting for Warren since she was 15 and has continued to work for him because he had supplied her with heroin.

A Minneapolis police sex crime unit began the investigation after an ad was posted on Craigslist stating that a high school girl was available for "companionship" with an older gentleman, according to the criminal complaint filed against Warren.

The ad was posted under the "resume" section, but the same individual responsible for posting the ad had other postings under the category of "erotic services," the criminal complaint stated.

Minneapolis police then learned from CraigsList that Warren had paid for the erotic services ad with a credit card issued in his name.

Minneapolis police investigators responded to the ad set up a sting on March 18 where an undercover officer arranged to meet the "high school" female at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

Police conducted surveillance that filmed Warren driving up to the hotel in a maroon 2004 Suzuki and dropping off an adult female that investigators said appeared older than a "high school" student.

The woman met the undercover officer posing as a potential client and during discussion she admitted she was older than 23, but said she knew a 16 year-old girl that she could bring to the hotel for sexual purposes.

The undercover police investigator arranged with the woman to meet up again in a few hours and surveillance observed the woman leaving the hotel and getting back into the car driven by Warren, the report stated.

The adult female called the undercover investigator back and later returned to the hotel with a juvenile female later determined to be 15-years old. The two were observed by police to be transported by Warren, this time in a white Buick Lesabre, the report stated.

The adult female and juvenile then went to a room in a hotel to meet the undercover officer. Once inside the room, they discussed the services they would provide and the cost. They asked for $900 to perform the services and the officer then announced they were under arrest.

Warren declined a police interview, the report stated.

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