Five men accused of soliciting children for sex in Woodbury
WOODBURY, Minn.—Five men were arrested in Woodbury during an undercover operation targeting people who solicit children for sex Wednesday, Sept. 13.
Charges related to sexual solicitation of minors were filed against: Kyle Bracken, 40, of Minneapolis; Mark Priorier, 47, of Colfax, Wis.; Kao Chang, 40, of St. Paul; Mark Kislowski, 48, of Ballston Lake, N.Y.; and Gary Infante, 34, of Andover.
During the investigation, communications with the men offered explicit confirmation that each planned to engage in sex acts with a minor and arranged a meeting location.
Each of the men had replied to a staged Backpage.com advertisement authorities posted advertising commercial sex.
Although the posting did not specifically mention minors, subsequent communication the men clarified that the post was advertising sex with a minor.
Each of the men agreed and made arrangement to meet someone they thought was a minor for sex.
"These individuals preyed upon children, knew they were children and carried out their intention to violate their innocence," Woodbury Police Chief Lee Vague said in a statement Thursday. "It is our responsibility to hold them accountable."
Agencies accompanying Woodbury police in the Sept. 13 operation were police departments in Oakdale, Cottage Grove, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as Hennepin and Washington County sheriff's offices.
Authorities also identified five potential victims during the ongoing investigation. Officers connected victims with advocates and additional resources.
Police carried out the operation with support from the Washington County Attorney's office, which established a Major Crimes Unit in 2015 to combat sexual exploitation and abuse.
"Our collective efforts continue to allow us to vigorously target and prosecute both the criminals
who are exploiting victims and the individuals seeking to engage in these criminal acts," said Imran Ali, an attorney with the Major Crimes Unit.
The men were booked and released from Washington County jail that night, which Ali said is common throughout the metro area for similar cases in which investigators continue to collect evidence.
Washington County Attorney Peter Orput said that, as investigators compile the evidence, the men will receive a summons.
Although one of the men lives as far away as New York, Orput said a warrant for their arrest will be issued.
"They're not going anywhere," Orput said. "If they think they're getting away with it, I've got news for them."