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Eagan Man Charged with Soliciting Teenage Girl in Sex-Trafficking Sting

Thanh Huu Bui is charged with two felonies in connection with a sex-trafficking ring that police say was masterminded by Bernard Elvet Johnson of Minneapolis.

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An Eagan man has been charged in connection with a sex-trafficking ring in which a Minneapolis man is accused of arranging for men to have sex with underage girls at his home.

Thanh Huu Bui, 45, faces two felony charges: Solicitation of a minor to engage in prostitution, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine; and prostitution, for which the maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Also named in the case is Bernard Elvet Morris, 55, of Minneapolis, who is charged with three felonies: Two counts of solicitation, inducement and promotion of prostitution, which each have a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $40,000 fine, and one count of prostitution.

The victim in the case, described as a girl 15 to 16 years old, told police that she was a runaway when Morris picked her up on Sept. 25, according to the criminal complaints signed by Minneapolis Police Sgt. Grant Snyder.

Police say Morris began setting up “licks”—incidents of sex in exchange for money—for her at his home in the 4600 block of 3rd Avenue South in Minneapolis.

The victim told police that Morris arranged on “numerous occasions” for men to come to his home and have sex with her, and that Morris paid her to have sex with him as well.

Morris subsequently admitted his involvement in the sex-trafficking ring to police, and agreed to set up a telephone sting for some of his clients, according to the complaints.

On Oct. 25, in a monitored phone call, Morris contacted Bui and arranged for Bui to come to his home and have sex with a girl 15 to 16 years old, the complaints say. Bui told Morris that he would pay "a hundred" to have sex with a young girl, as long as "she’s pretty," according to the complaints.

When Bui showed up at Morris’ home, he was arrested. Police searched him and found a large amount of cash; he admitted to officers that he had arranged to have sex with an underage girl, and had done so on previous occasions, the complaints say.

Bui has been released from custody on a $100,000 bond. His next court hearing is scheduled Nov. 5 in Hennepin County District Court. Morris remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $100,000 bond, with an omnibus hearing scheduled Nov. 21 in Hennepin County District Court.

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