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Minnesota man sentenced to 2 years on coercion charge

BISMARCK -- A Minnesota man was sentenced to two years in federal prison Monday on a sex trafficking charge that arose out of an undercover sting in Dickinson, N.D., last fall.

Justin Mattson, 42, responded to an ad placed on Backpage.com by a special agent offering a girl on Nov. 23, 2013. In correspondence with the undercover agent, Mattson requested a 13-year-old girl for sex for $150. When he showed up to the agreed-upon hotel room, he was arrested.

Mattson and 13 other men were arrested as part of two sting operations, dubbed "Operation Vigilant Guardian," that weekend in Dickinson and Williston.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland's sentence was between what the public defender and the assistant U.S. attorney recommended. He also ordered Mattson to be on five years supervised probation following his release.

U.S. marshals took Mattson into custody immediately after Monday's hearing. He requested to be placed at a prison in Sandstone or Duluth, Minn.

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