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Texas Man Facing Prostitution Charges in Pine County

A 28-year-old Texas man is facing prostitution charges after he allegedly tried to hire a teenager for sex.

According to the criminal complaint, a Pine County Sheriff’s deputy working with the Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force (MNHIFT) was working a juvenile demand suppression detail in Pine County.

Advertisements were posted by the MNHIFT to a handful of websites commonly used for the solicitation of commercial sex. Sergio Bernardino reportedly responded to an ad posted to a website.

The complaint stated that Bernardino thought he was texting a 16-year-old girl. During the text conversation, Bernardino reportedly acknowledged the age of the girl he thought he was talking to.

He allegedly arranged to have a "full service" meeting for the price of $125.

In reality, Bernardino was talking to a member of law enforcement, who arranged to meet in Pine County.

The complaint stated that Bernardino arrived at the location in a work truck with Texas plates, where a deputy met him.

He reportedly fled the scene and was later arrested following a traffic stop. A box of condoms was located in the vehicle.

Bernardino has been charged with prostitution and fleeing a peace officer.

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