Police arrested 19 men at a motel in Mounds View, Minn. earlier this week for responding to online ads for prostitution.
The men arrested in the Oct. 28-92 sting were all booked at the Ramsey County jail on a gross misdemeanor charge of engaging in prostitution in a public place. The johns were all released pending formal charges.
Ramsey County prosecutors have been working with the lodging industry to curb the growing problem of prostitution, which mostly starts with online classified ads on sites like Backpage.com, but ends in local hotel rooms.
The Ramsey County Attorney's Office made a video to help hotel and motel employees recognize the signs that someone is being bought and sold for sex. The 20-minute DVD highlights the red flags, such as paying in cash, having no luggage and refusing housekeeping or room service.