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Iowa man sentenced in 'Guardian Angel' underage sex sting

Timothy M. Erickson

FARGO—An Iowa man pleaded guilty on Monday, March 20, in Cass County District Court to one count of patronizing a minor for commercial sexual activity, a charge connected to an undercover sting operation last summer that targeted men accused of going to area hotels looking to hire minors for sex.

After pleading guilty Monday, Timothy M. Erickson, who is either 46 or 47 and from Doon, Iowa, was sentenced to 180 days in jail, which he will be allowed to serve at his own expense in a jail in Lyon County, Iowa.

Erickson was also ordered to pay $1,000 in fees.

According to court documents, Erickson used electronic communication to set up a sexual encounter at a Fargo hotel even though undercover officers he was communicating with indicated he would be meeting females under the age of 18.

Erickson was given credit for already having served three days.

When he was arrested last summer, Erickson was one of 18 men arrested and charged in connection with operation "Guardian Angel."

The operation was revived earlier this month and at least ten men were arrested in the latest sting.

As part of the stings, area law enforcement officials placed ads on websites and mobile apps through which contact with suspects was made. The apps included Grindr and Whisper, and the websites included Craigslist.com and Backpage.com.

Dave Olson
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