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Thief River Falls man sought sexual relations with deputy posing as 15-year-old

Thief River Falls man pled guilty Tuesday in Kittson County District Court in Hallock, Minn., to three counts of soliciting a minor online after he made sexual advances toward an undercover sheriff’s deputy.


Marty Dale Johnson, 52, responded to an advertisement posted on Craigslist by Dep. Pat Klegstad, who was posing as a 15-year-old girl, according to court records.

“I'm new to this small town and lookin to do pretty much anything. I love to go for walks, chat, play video games, chill out, and drink,” the ad read.

Klegstad, posing as the girl, told Johnson she was 15, but he still tried to start a sexual relationship with her, according to the criminal complaint. Johnson sent her sexually-explicit messages and even sent her a package with “items related to sexual acts.”

The two began correspondence in early August and continued until late January when deputies placed Johnson under arrest at the Dairy Queen in Thief River Falls where he worked, the complaint said.

He is scheduled to appear for sentencing on Oct. 7.

Each count carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.

Call Volpenhein at (701) 780-1125(800) 477-6572, ext. 1125; or send email to