FARGO — Fargo police are investigating at least two robberies in which the victims were lured using online ads for prostitution, according to a search warrant filed in Cass County District Court.
The two robberies reportedly occurred at an apartment complex at 1818 2nd Ave. S. in Fargo, once in May and once in June. In both cases, the victims allegedly responded to ads on a website that advertised adult services and believed they would be meeting a prostitute.
According to the search warrant:
In the first case, the victim told police he began exchanging messages with someone in order to solicit a prostitute. He said he was directed to a specific unit in the apartment complex.
The first victim said he noticed two women when he arrived at the unit, and was told to pay the money upfront. He said he was then told to leave before a man came out of the bedroom and assaulted him with a stun gun.
The victim said one of the women took his cellphone and wallet to look for more money before handing them back to him and telling him to leave.
In the second case, the victim told authorities he responded to online ads for a prostitute and began exchanging messages with a woman, whom police believe is one of the women involved in the first robbery.
The second victim said he was directed to a unit in the apartment complex at 1818 2nd Ave. S. and was robbed in the hallway by four men who stole his belongings.
In both cases, Fargo police were able to connect a white vehicle that was parked at the apartment building to one of the women involved in the robberies.
In August, Fargo police received a report from Cass County Social Services regarding a minor.
The report stated at some point in August, one of the women connected with the robberies allegedly brought a minor, possibly 15 or 16 years old, to a hotel in the Fargo-Moorhead area. The minor allegedly met an older male and “was told she could earn cash for getting naked," the search warrant shows.
The Social Services report noted that the minor’s mother noticed cash had been deposited into the minor’s bank account.
Fargo police believe that the people involved “are still operating an ongoing criminal enterprise utilizing ads posted online to solicit sex,” according to the search warrant. A message left for a Fargo police spokesperson was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 8.