New charges in sex trafficking case involving minors from DuluthThe St. Louis County Attorney's Office has filed charges of aiding and abetting sex trafficking in the first degree against Tabbatha Lee Olson, 22, after a multi-agency, coordinated investigation.
The St. Louis County Attorney's Office has filed charges of aiding and abetting sex trafficking in the first degree against Tabbatha Lee Olson, 22, after a multi-agency, coordinated investigation. A parallel indictment was issued in United States District Court against Markeace Arque Canty, 32. Both Olson and Canty have been apprehended.
Those involved included the Duluth Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with cooperation from the Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D. and Eau Claire, Wis. police departments. Others involved in this multilevel effort included the Porter County Sheriff’s Office, Ind., and Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office, N. D.
The charges allege that Canty and Olson jointly solicited and promoted the prostitution of multiple juvenile females from the Duluth, Minnesota, area. The charges further allege that the two used internet advertising to arranging for prostitution of the minors in multiple cities throughout the Midwest and then transported the minors to those locations.
"Our highest priority is to intervene and assure the safety of victims who have been exploited through trafficking,” said County Attorney Mark Rubin. “It is our obligation and duty to protect the victims from continuing danger. It is a sad reality that sometimes adult women are used by traffickers to solicit and arrange for the exploitation of young girls. The situation that the adult women find themselves in would be appropriately considered at the sentencing phase. However, the conduct is not excusable and they must face responsibility for their actions."
“We applaud the work of the Duluth Police Department, Federal authorities, and the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office in responding to this case,” said Duluth Trafficking Task Force Coordinator Shunu Shrestha in response to the arrests. “We further appreciate the systems’ recognition of the need for advocacy to play a role in these cases and the cooperation they have shown with the Duluth Trafficking Task Force.”
County attorneys Jon Holets and Vicky Wanta will be prosecuting the case against Olson.