Illinois man indicted in Minnesota for sex trafficking
ST. PAUL, Minn. — An Illinois man was indicted in federal court Friday on multiple charges related to sex trafficking.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Bloomington (Minnesota) Police Department.
Darnell Deshawn Stennis, 28, will be arraigned one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, and two counts of transporting individuals to engage in prostitution, before U.S. Magistrate Becky R Thorson in St. Paul on Feb. 6.
According to the allegations in the indictment and documents filed in court, from January 2019 through March 2019, Stennis recruited, harbored, advertised, solicited, and transported from Minnesota to North Dakota, a victim to engage in commercial sex acts by means of force, fraud, and coercion. From March 21, 2019, through March 25, 2019, Stennis also transported a second victim from Minnesota to North Dakota with the intent that the victim would engage in commercial sex acts.
On March 25, 2019, local police were dispatched to the La Quinta Inn in Bloomington, Minnesota, following a report that a hotel guest heard yelling and what sounded like someone being thrown against a wall. Upon arrival, officers encountered Stennis and two other individuals, identified as Victims A and B. Officers checked the hotel room and observed obvious signs of a disturbance, including a toilet seat that was broken into multiple pieces and a towel rack that was bent. Victim A reported to officers that Stennis had violently assaulted her. Victim A also reported that Stennis choked her, bashed her head into the towel rack, and pushed her down onto the toilet seat. Stennis, who also had outstanding warrants, was arrested and placed into custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan B. Gilead and Manda M. Sertich are prosecuting the case.