A Shakopee man has been implicated in a sex-trafficking ring in which police say underage girls were forced to work as prostitutes.
Phuoc Phong Le, 46, is charged with two felonies: second-degree solicitation, inducement and promotion of prostitution and sex trafficking, and solicitation, inducement and promotion of prostitution, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $40,000 fine.
Bernard Elvet Morris, 55, of Minneapolis, was charged last month with arranging sexual encounters between underage girls—at least one of them a runaway—and Twin Cities men. Another man, Thanh Huu Bui, 45, of Eagan, is also charged in the case.
According to the criminal complaint against Le, signed by Minneapolis Police Sgt. Grant Snyder, Morris agreed to allow investigators to monitor telephone conversations on Oct. 25 when he called several men, including Le.
During his conversation with Le, Morris offered him a “date” with a 15-year-old girl, according to the complaint. Le declined, saying that the girl was too young, but adding that he had a friend who “might be interested.”
Another man, identified in the criminal complaint only as Tom, subsequently called Morris and arranged to have sex with the 15-year-old girl, according to court documents. Tom told Morris that his cousin, Le, had told him that Morris could make that arrangement.
Le subsequently admitted to police that he knew Morris, who had called him many times and invited him to “party with girls,” the criminal complaint charges. He said he told Morris that he would call friends and let them know that Morris had girls available, but he denied calling anyone.
Le has been released from custody on a $40,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Dec. 6 in Hennepin County District Court.