Five men have been arrested in Woodbury during a staged undercover operation targeting people who solicit children for sex Wednesday, Sept. 13.
Kyle Bracken, 40 of Minneapolis, Mark Priorier, 47 of Colfax, Wisconsin, Kao Chang, 40 of St. Paul, Mark Kislowski, 48 of Ballston Lake, New York and Gary Infante, 34 of Andover each face similar, but separate, charges related to sexual solicitation of minors.
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.
“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.