Minneapolis Man Charged with Sex Trafficking

Edward Lee Smith Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
Edward Lee Smith

August 17, 2017 03:12 PM

A Minneapolis man was expected in court Thursday, facing sex trafficking charges.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said Lee Edward Smith, 21, was charged with three counts of sex trafficking Wednesday, and prosecutors are seeking bail in the amount of $250,000.


The criminal complaint states a Minneapolis police investigator came across a woman being advertised for sex earlier this month on Backpage.com. After calling that number, the investigator was allegedly directed to go to the 3600 block of Nicollet Avenue.

The investigator then reportedly set up in a place where he could survey the building and contacted the phone number. He said he saw a woman come out of the building, and when she didn't see anyone, she texted the investigator and admitted she was the woman he was seeking.

Then Monday, the report states an investigator saw another ad with the same phone number. After surveillance, a man was interviewed who said he had gone there to pursue sex-for-hire. That led to a search of the apartment and Smith's arrest.

The report states three women in the apartment said Smith or his girlfriend set up the ads and arranged the sexual encounters. They allegedly told investigators they turned the money made over to him.


Frank Rajkowski

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