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Published May 26, 2012, 11:33 AM

Fargo Man Accused of Human Trafficking

FARGO - No one has ever been arrested on the charge of pimping in North Dakota ever before, until now. Police say 40-year-old Chad Lindley was recruiting prostitutes through the internet, acting as a sex trafficker for the area. That's not the only charge he's facing.

By: Todd Kurtz, WDAZ

FARGO - No one has ever been arrested on the charge of pimping in North Dakota ever before, until now. Police say 40-year-old Chad Lindley was recruiting prostitutes through the internet, acting as a sex trafficker for the area. That's not the only charge he's facing.

Police executed a search warrant at an apartment in the 4900 block of 16th Ave. South, just west of Scheels in Fargo. Inside they found more evidence against Chad Lindley being a pimp and anabolic steroids.

"Other crimes come from this," Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel said.

Lindley is facing felony charges for human or sex trafficking and drug possession. Lindley is a former state champion auctioneer and is listed as a member of the North Dakota Auctioneers Association.

Police say Lindley was targeting local women. They got a tip from an informant and tracked Lindley's ads, recruiting women through the adult section at backpage.com, a site similar to Craigslist.

"We are not going to tolerate this," Vettel said.

Police say the number of escort ads has been quickly increasing in the Fargo area, and this case is a prime example of why they've run those prostitution stings.

"People have been critical of us doing that often looking to and looking at prostitution as a victimless crime and we've shown and explained that it's not in our eyes and in our belief, it brings in a number of other things to our community that we just don't want here," Vettel said.

Lt. Vettel says the department's biggest concern is pimps targeting minors for prostitution. He says that's an issue that follows this business.

Human trafficking is a Class A felony that carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

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