WILLISTON, N.D. – An undercover prostitution sting in Williston has resulted in human trafficking charges against two men.
Prosecutors filed charges Monday against Charles Norton and Rasheed Abdul Rahim, arrested last week after they allegedly drove women who had placed online prostitution ads.
Additionally, the sting yielded eight arrests of johns soliciting prostitution, and an additional drug-related arrest.
Williams County court records say:
Law enforcement, including the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, conducted a sting last Thursday that involved responding to escort ads placed on Backpage.com.
One woman who arranged to meet with the undercover agents arrived at a hotel in a maroon Dodge van, which then parked in the back of the parking lot with its lights off and engine running.
The woman told police that the man in the van, later identified as Norton, takes money from her prostitution jobs and pays her with food or drugs. She said earlier that day she made $500 and gave all the money to Norton.
Police encountered another woman in the van with Norton who said she had engaged in prostitution in Williston two days earlier.
Norton told police the second woman was his girlfriend, a former prostitute he had “rescued” from the business six months earlier. Norton said his girlfriend stays with him in Arnegard when she’s not traveling back and forth to Milwaukee.
Authorities arrested Rahim under similar circumstances. A woman who had an ad on Backpage was dropped off by a man later identified as Rahim.
The woman told police Rahim transports her to prostitution jobs, court records say.
Police also found 2 ounces of marijuana while searching Rahim’s Lexus. He also faces a charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class C felony.
During the investigation, law enforcement learned that Rahim had been arrested on suspicion of prostitution-related charges in February in Arizona, court records say.
Each man is charged with human trafficking, a Class A felony, and is scheduled for a bond hearing today.