Minneapolis Prostitution Sting Catches 53 'Johns'

Updated: 07/19/2013 11:05 PM KSTP.com By: Todd Wilson

Deondre Jenkins can't believe how many prostitutes he sees every day walking up and down Lake Street in Minneapolis. Jenkins lives a block away. He says it doesn't matter what time of day it is, business is booming.

"I've seen people having sex right here on the block. In their cars, getting out of their cars with their pants down, it's ridiculous," Jenkins said.

His biggest problem with it is that the neighborhood kids have to see it.

"We've got young kids growing up here. It's so easy for the females to be recruited by this stuff because they're seeing it," Jenkins said.

Officers with the third precinct ran a six-day undercover sting from July 12 to 17. They focused on East Lake Street from 3rd Ave. to 17th Ave. South. The bulk of their operation was done at night and during the lunch hour. They ended up arresting 64 people. Out of those 64 people, 53 were "johns" - including convicted sex offenders Dennis Fix and Roberto Vargas

Josie Klingaman is an avid jogger. She lives two blocks off of Lake Street. She says the sting was needed.

"I think it's great that we have our law enforcement looking out for the safety of the community and it's great this area is becoming a safer environment," Klingaman said.

The sting worked hand-in-hand with a nationwide effort coordinated by the Cook County, Ill., Sheriff's Office, with the goal of having as many law enforcement agencies as possible conduct "john" sweeps.