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Sex sting operation results in 17 arrests

BISMARCK -- When officers with the Bismarck Police Department placed an ad online advertising a woman's sexual services for sale, so many men replied that the police couldn't arrest them all.

Bismarck Police Sgt. Mark Buschena said the online ad was part of a sting operation conducted Feb. 4-5. The ad received 65 responses, but, due to logistical constraints such as a limited number of officers on hand to make arrests, police were only able to arrest and charge 17 of the men who answered.

Buschena said officers received phone calls and text messages from interested parties in the sting. All 17 men, after allegedly agreeing to pay an unspecified amount of money for sex, were arrested when they showed up at an agreed-upon hotel room with money in hand.

The men arrested range in age from 18 to 48 and hail from Bismarck, Mandan, Fargo, Grand Forks, Ryder and Denhoff, as well as from the states of Minnesota and Rhode Island.

If convicted, each man faces up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500.

Buschena said the charges have been sent to the Bismarck city attorney's office for review.