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Fargo man arrested in 2016 underage sex sting busted again

Leroy Lafrance

FARGO—A Fargo man who was charged last summer as part of an underage sex sting operation known as "Guardian Angel" is facing a new charge following a revival of the sting operation last week.

In the most recent case, Leroy Martin Lafrance Jr., 36, is charged in Cass County District Court with patronizing a minor for commercial sexual activity.

According to court documents, law enforcement agencies were conducting an undercover sting operation March 9 in Fargo that was a continuation of last summer's operation "Guardian Angel," which targeted people in Fargo-Moorhead area seeking to hire minors for sexual activity.

Last summer's sting involved area law enforcement officials placing ads on websites and mobile apps through which contact with suspects was made. The apps included Grindr and Whisper, and the websites included Craigslist.com and Backpage.com.

That operation netted 18 arrests, including Lafrance, who was charged in Clay County District Court with several counts relating to soliciting a minor for sex. He is scheduled to stand trial on those charges in April.

In last week's sting, law enforcement agents placed ads online in which someone purporting to be a young female was seeking contact with males for money. However, the "young female" was actually a female law enforcement agent.

During the operation, a man identified in court documents as Lafrance texted with authorities and according to court documents he and the officer posing as an underage female agreed to meet at a convenience store in south Fargo to have sex in a vehicle.

The documents state it was made clear to Lafrance that the female he would be meeting was 16.

Lafrance was arrested after law enforcement officers staking out the convenience store observed him look inside a pickup officers had parked near the store, according to court documents.

Lafrance told an officer that he didn't do anything and didn't touch anybody, according to the court documents, which also state authorities found $100 on Lafrance in the form of five $20 bills, the amount he told the undercover officer he'd be willing to pay.

Lafrance, who was arrested Friday, March 10, remained in the Cass County Jail on Thursday, March 16.

Dave Olson
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