Minnesota: Police bust online sex business

KARE – ‎Jun 10, 2009‎

Another major sex ring has been shut down by police. Investigators have now posted an online warning to sex trade workers and those who paid for their services.

It essentially says that police know who you are and they’re coming to find you unless you find them first.

The message is posted on myfastpass.com and signed by Sgt. Grant Snyder and his partner Matt Wente.

“We’ve built criminal cases against many of these people. Frankly, what we’re trying to do is give people some opportunity to have some control over the time and place of that meeting,” says Snyder.

Sgt. Snyder spoke with KARE 11 by phone Wednesday. He’s a lead investigator and member of the federal Violent Offenders Task Force which took down what could be the Twin Cities’ biggest online prostitution ring.

At myfastpass.com, police say prostitutes posted ads. Potential customers had to go through a background check providing employment information and references.

The year-long investigation shut down the web site and led to the arrest of the so-called Madame who ran it.

Police executed search warrants at two downtown Minneapolis apartment buildings and at her Woodbury home netting a database with the names of hundreds of sex providers and customers with email addresses, credit card information and phone numbers.

“We want to send a message that Minneapolis and the Twin Cities is no longer a place where you can go to participate in the sex trade, either as a customer or provider and feel safe and confident doing that,” says Snyder.

Police say they closed in on the web site after enlisting the help of undercover prostitutes. This investigation was a spin-off from the ‘Minnesota Nice Guys investigation, another online sex ring. Charges in both cases are expected next week, as well as another round of arrests.

Police will go after the prostitutes and johns and they say some of the customers have well known names. Investigators say they are already getting calls from attorneys and from wives who want to know if their husbands are on the list.

(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

Link to original on KARE



  1. I put this in the category, “Violence against sex workers” because it is. The “MyFastPass” organization was a place sex workers could go to be sure the men they would see were safe and not violent. This action by the police is putting sex workers in a lot of danger. It is like pulling the safety rug out from underneath them. These people won’t be happy until we are all dead.

  2. Great. Big, tough police. Bet they feel accomplished for persecuting adults having consensual sex behind closed doors. Meanwhile, in 2007, there were 1,873 reported forced* rapes** in MN, but only 125 arrests for forced rape***. Shows me that arresting women is preferable to protecting them in MN.

    *Forced rapes don’t include sexual assault.

  3. Message to all members of MFP

    “They never took the server or the site, I had full access at all times, I was the one that had to take it down, I had to post the notice, no federal warrant was ever servered on it, no access was ever logged by anyone unauthorized and so everyone was and is safe as far as their bluff of data base. Through good or bad advice from the lawyer I consented to put on the message written by the county prosecutor “Judy Johnston”. My lawyer said they wanted the site up to use it, but my lawyer said “no if you are going to charge Nora with a crime in opperation the site, then it will be shut down”. I hoped most would have realised that the blurb was posted by “Tiger”, but the overall shock and awe probably stumped a few at the outset. LE did get plenty of bang for the buck in the scare tactic. I have still not talked with the police, other than exercise my right for silence and will only talk in the presence of my attorney. I think in the long run the exercising my rights, will be the best moments of silence I will have ever done in my life. I sincerely doubt anyone took their advice and called in. Maybe lawyers called in for them but I highly doubt anyone personally called in.

    I just want everyone to know I did my best in the face of Federal threat of Ricco, wire fraud, Mann Act… yikes. I just tried to do what the lawyers told me at the time. Time will tell and it will all come out in the wash of who said what and when and why. Who supplied the lies that the LE was trying to track down and make mountains out of a mole hill. In the mean time please be safe and pass this to anyone that you feel would appreciate some peace of mind. Love you back Nora”

  4. Remember East Lake Health Club, ladies? I mean long live Bob, but lets face it, we took a huge step towards our own independence when the saunas were raided day after day and finally they put them down for good. I know, because I worked there as a day girl. A lot of repressed memories were born but I remember one thing for certain. . . and I want the police to remember as well. . .you ripped down our doors daily but we made sure we remained open despite your messy raids. You tried and tried but not a single one of us “whores” would talk, not one, not a single one. I was taught a real life application into the hearts of brave women, and that enraged the boys in blue so much that you stormed in one final time (during a shift change so your witch hunt would help political elections). During that final raid our cities police invited the media, and proceeded to take each woman out into the rush hour of Lake Street with KARE 11 salavating for facial and nude photos of these poor girls. It was a feeding frenzy. Nobody cared whose blood got spilled and because we wouldn’t snitch the police grabbed the usual suspects, and tried to burn us women at the stake. I was a little girl then, and with that one ignorant decision made by your chain of command, the Minneapolis Police Department left me with disowned by my family as a minor and directly into the arms of an industry that has dually nurtured and murdered me. After the sauna closed we gained independence and learned how to run our own businesses. Several of the women in our group took themselves out of poverty and now have 4 year degrees in various disciplines. Myself included. We went from the bottom to the top and broadened our horizons globally. Hell yea, I knew Tiger, I was a fastpass chic, and so what? Our city has the balls to call themselves liberal but they don’t even understand the meaning behind the word. I understand why the city wanted the massage parlors closed, I mean come on we love this city as much as the next friendly neighbor. Our moral and ethical fibers are firmly intact, we obsess over discretion. Whether the housewives out there believe it or not, I never went to a club with an escort who ended up leaving the club with some stray dude or random stranger. These women are just doing what America demands from its daughters. The media has created a bunch of zombie-like followers who cast stones without looking or even knowing what the subject is. So now what? Congratulations!!! Wow!!! You shut down the only obvious safety net that your lost and runaway girls had to protect them from the TRUEST and most traumatic forms of this industry. The police have the best statistics of anyone out here, they should be clever enough by now to understand how these type of cases have historically effected women, and children of both genders. So feel like you accomplished something if it suits your ego, sirs, but if you send me the numbers I can calculate within a -1 to 1 range value stating a correlation between a rise in the levels of violent crimes and take down of one simple website. As a psychology major I already know that the rise will begin on the very day the warning was issued. If someone from the police force has these numbers please send them to my email. I would love to show a bit of my own personal scientific method that I just happened to stumble upon while you force us to protect ourselves and then punish us for it. Hey, that is a terror tactic. I was that runaway once, never forget it officer. I am also a college graduate, as well as other achievements. But your actions teach the world to stigmatize these women who are naked, bleeding, and slowly dying on your cold cement floors. Alone by their own admission.

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