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Tougher regulations may curb car and metal thefts. Amid the flurry of high profile measures, the Legislature made it tougher to steal a car this spring. (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN, May 24, 2013).
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Priest abuse cases 'just the beginning,' Ramsey County prosecutor says. As part of its coverage of child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and elsewhere, the Pioneer Press talked with Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, March 1, 2014).
Minn. lawmakers seek to tighten laws, save residents money. As it turns out, Minnesota is one of the states that fraudsters like most, and underwriters say the effect on premium prices is real. That's why state lawmakers and prosecutors are considering new efforts to stop the drain on residents. (KMSP Fox9, Eden Prairie, MN, February 13, 2014).
Prosecutors say residents' identities stolen with mail. Prosecutors charged two St. Paul men with identity theft Monday, saying they stole hundreds of documents, including bank statements, tax and financial documents and credit cards from mailboxes across the metro area. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, February 10, 2014).
Former state worker convicted of ID theft. A former state employee accused of stealing hundreds of individual identities, including Social Security and drivers’ license numbers, was convicted of identity theft Wednesday by a Ramsey County jury. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, January22, 2014).
Ramsey County beat: Helping fathers who fall behind. The county hopes to help some of those dads make their payments and become better parents by partnering with the FATHER Project, a program run by Goodwill Easter Seals of Minnesota. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, November 14, 2013).
St. Paul woman pleads guilty to identity theft. A forged check in June 2012 led investigators to Burg, who told them that she obtained her names from Kristin R. Warren, who allegedly received them from Deflorin in exchange for drugs, the complaints said. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, October 25, 2013).
New video helps lodging industry to recognize, combat sex trafficking. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office released a new training video today about how to combat sex trafficking in area hotels and motels. (RCAO, St. Paul, MN, October 24, 2013).
Ramsey County creates video to cut down on sex trafficking. According to prosecutors, most sex trafficking starts with online classified ads on sites like Backpage.com, but it ends in local hotel rooms. (KMSP Fox9, Eden Prairie, MN, October 24, 2013).
For St. Paul cop's career-ending injuries, man gets 8.5 years in prison. When (Officer) Reilly approached Thomas Swenson, he punched and kicked her to the point where she thought she was going to die. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, September 26, 2013).
Two men who pimped Duluth teens in St. Paul sentenced to over 21 years. Ramsey County District Judge Lezlie Ott Marek sentenced Fonati Diggs to 22 years and 10 months in prison and Timothy Cross to 21 years and two months, imposing consecutive sentences for their two sex-trafficking convictions. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, September 16, 2013).
Ramsey Co. judge sentences sex traffickers to 21 years. The victims, aged 17 and 18, took a bus from Duluth to St. Paul on June 15. The men drove the young women to a Super 8 motel, where they were threatened and forced to have sex with multiple men, according to the criminal complaint. (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN, September 16, 2013).
Four women allegedly stole hundreds of identities, according to Ramsey County charges. Deflorin obtained identities and Social Security numbers from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) where she worked from October 1994 to September 2004, and from going through trash. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, September 7, 2013).
4 Charged In ID Theft Ring Targeting State Employees. Ramsey County investigators say they have busted a major identity theft ring involving the personal information of hundreds. (WCCO-TV, St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN, September 7, 2013).
Former state of Minnesota worker stole IDs of 269 public employees, charges say. Investigators found the stolen names and Social Security numbers of 269 public employees in the home of a former state worker, according to a criminal complaint. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, September 6, 2013).
Ex-addict's faith — and others' faith in him — helped him start anew. As a 12-year-old gangster wannabe hooked on drugs, he stole much of his parents' life savings to help feed his growing habit. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, August 24, 2013).
Ramsey County attorney says civil statute could protect children from perpetrators. He plans to take a civil statute designed primarily to protect kids from neglectful parents and use it to file no-contact orders between alleged perpetrators and their juvenile victims. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, August 9, 2013).
She was just a girl -- and just what alleged St. Paul pimps looked for. The child, who should have been spending time riding her bicycle and braiding her dolls' hair, had been sexually assaulted by an older boy at a suburban home. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, May 25, 2013).
New Minnesota law is expected to quash scrap-metal crimes. Auto and metal thieves will find it harder to sell their loot for scrap metal, thanks to a new law aimed at stamping out such thefts. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, May 24, 2013)
St. Paul, Ramsey County teaming up to crack down on sex trafficking. The work by police and Choi’s office is being funded by grants provided last year and this year from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, April 23, 2013).
St. Paul prostitution ring busted; young, vulnerable girls trafficked. The victims' willingness to talk to authorities was pivotal to the six-month police investigation, said Choi and St. Paul police Sgt. John Bandemer said. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, April 11, 2013).
Victims step forward to help bust St. Paul sex-trafficking ring. For two years a St. Paul family allegedly posted hundreds of online ads selling sex with several women, some as young as 15, who were coerced, threatened and assaulted into a life authorities described as “modern day human slavery.” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, April 10, 2013)
5 Charged In 2-Year Ramsey Co. Sex Trafficking Ring. Two St. Paul brothers, their uncles and one woman are now facing charges in connection to human trafficking that spanned the last two years, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office announced Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (WCCO-TV, St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN, April 10, 2013).
Unique Program Aims to Help Vets in Trouble with the Law. The Veterans Justice Initiative enables the criminal justice system to address the issue of veterans who have suffered collateral consequences due to their military service and thus find themselves in trouble with the law. (KSTP 5 Eyewitness News, St. Paul, MN, March 15, 2013).
Minnesota police reaching out to abuse victims, before it’s too late. The common denominator in many deadly (domestic violence) cases is that the victim was trying to leave. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, March 2, 2013).
Family Reunification Act could restore parental rights in some lost custody cases. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would give some parents who lost custody of their children years ago a chance to reunify with them. (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN, February 26, 2013).
Ramsey, Hennepin Counties sue mortgage registration service. Minnesota's two largest counties have joined together to file a lawsuit against the Mortgage Electronic Registration Service, Inc. (MERS) on behalf of taxpayers and all other counties in Minnesota, alleging that MERS has likely deprived states and counties of somewhere around $7.2 billion nationally. (KARE 11, Minneapolis, MN, February 15, 2013).
Ramsey, Hennepin sue mortgage registry over lost fees. Ramsey and Hennepin counties are suing a Virginia-based national home mortgage registry, alleging that they've lost potentially millions because the company failed to record mortgage transfers with the counties as required, they claim, under state law. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, February 15, 2013).
Capitol hearing: Insurance fraud on the rise. Insurance company representatives said crooks are especially intent on exploiting Minnesota's no-fault auto insurance system, milking insurers with exaggerated or false injury claims. (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN, February 11, 2013).
Ramsey County embarks on journey to establish Veterans Justice Initiative. The Veterans Justice Initiative enables the criminal justice system to address the issue of veterans who have suffered collateral consequences due to their military service and thus find themselves in trouble with the law. (Ramsey County Attorney's Office, St. Paul, MN, January 15, 2013).
Runaway girls focus of Minn. fight to curb sex trafficking. Research shows that Minnesota girls who run from their homes are not only more vulnerable to being sold for sex, but also face a higher risk of being raped or sexually abused in other ways. (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN, January 11, 2013).
Minnesota felons' DNA samples slip through the cracks. With DNA an increasingly important tool for solving crimes, criminal justice officials are calling for more vigilant collection efforts. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, December 10, 2012).
Auto theft surcharge rankles enforcers. Minnesota drivers pay more than $2.6 million a year to a program designed to prevent auto thefts, but nearly half of that money is diverted to the state's general revenue fund. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, November 3, 2012).
Pilot Project Puts Alleged Stalkers on GPS. Officials say the goal is to ensure victim safety, as well as make sure a defendant complies with any no contact orders. (KSTP-TV, St. Paul, MN, November 1, 2012).
Ramsey County project will use GPS on abusers. Ramsey County is launching a project using GPS technology to instantly warn victims of stalking or domestic violence when a defendant is nearby, and then dispatch police. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, November 1, 2012).
Ramsey County pilot project puts stalkers on GPS. Under the program, defendants and victims who volunteer to participate will each have a GPS device. The defendant will wear an ankle bracelet, and the victim will have a "stalker alert" device to carry with her at all times. (Associated Press, Minneapolis, November 1, 2012).
Ramsey County aims to nip fraud in the bud. Ramsey County pursues low-level criminals to keep small theft schemes from spinning into larger ones. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, October 16, 2012).
Insurance agents charged with fraud. The Ramsey County attorney's office filed charges against two men in connection with an alleged annuities' fraud scheme prosecutors say was hatched from the Lowertown offices of St. Paul financial firm BeneVento Capital. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, August 31, 2012).
Editorial: Involving hotels, motels can help combat teen prostitution. Earlier this year at a Days Inn in Roseville, a hotel employee was suspicious about activity in one of the rooms. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, August 28, 2012).
Hotel employees urged to help fight child sex-trafficking.pdf. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi is recruiting a new set of eyes and ears to combat child-sex trafficking: hotel desk clerks and housekeepers. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, August 23, 2012).
Authorities, Hotels Team Up to Fight Sex trafficking in Ramsey County. A growing number of children in Minnesota are becoming victims of sex traffickers. (WCCO-TV, Minneapolis, MN, August 23, 2012).
Combating Sex Trafficking Press Advisory. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office is partnering with local law enforcement, lodging owners and operators as well as advocacy groups to combat sex trafficking in our community. (Ramsey County Attorney's Office, St. Paul, MN, August 22, 2012).
Man gets 21-year sentence for prostituting underage girl. Roseville Police were called to the Days Inn Hotel at 2550 Cleveland Avenue North in Roseville last January by the manager who suspected a patron was prostituting an underage female. (KARE11, Saint Paul, MN, June 6, 2012).
Special intervention for East Side curfew-breakers. By joining forces and increasing inter-agency and agency-community communication, the (IL3CP) project hopes to reduce crime and increase the sense of safety in a special section of the East Side. (Eastside Review, St. Paul, MN, May 14, 2012).
St. Paul takes East Side kids under its wing. The cornerstones of successful community prosecution are law enforcement, (city and county) prosecutors and community leaders. We intend to make this summer safer for every child in our community. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, April 22, 2012).
For cops, courts, a primer on PTSD. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office teams up with the Minnesota Alliance on Crime to host a PTSD training seminar for law enforcement, prosecutors and counseling professionals. Click RCAO PTSD Brochure for more information. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, April 17, 2012).
Nine charged in gang rape of St. Paul girl, 14. Nine suspects with alleged ties to a Twin Cities area street gang were charged Friday with the rape of a 14-year-old girl on St. Paul's East Side last November. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, March 23, 2012).
Police join forces against illegal use of legal drugs. The battle lines have become blurred in recent years, however, as narcotics are carried into cities not by smugglers but by delivery trucks, and change hands in homes instead of the street corner. (East Side Review, St. Paul, MN, March 11, 2012).
East Metro Law Enforcement Groups Form Coalition. The coalition will pool and share information throughout the year as the group gathers resources and best practices. (KSTP 5 Eyewitness News, St. Paul, MN, February 28, 2012).
Review: Medical examiner should have requested expert help in murder case. In response to the review, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office has asked McGee to consult clinicians on future cases when needed and to attend all statewide medical examiner conferences. (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN, February 16, 2012).
Ramsey County prosecutor fights crime's aftershocks. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office will soon provide additional assistance for those victims of violent crime who experience PTSD. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, January 1, 2012).Frequent felon accused of sticking Minn. car sellers with bogus check. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged a repeat offender with one count each of Offering a Forged Check, Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Theft by Swindle in connection with a sale of a truck. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, December 2, 2011).
Seller beware! Car bought with fake check prompts warning from Ramsey County prosecutor.
The Ramsey County attorney's office wants sellers to take extra precautions when dealing with private buyers after a recent truck sale gone bad. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, December 2, 2011).Day of Remembrance for Victims of Domestic Violence - Friday, October 21 at 10:00 a.m. - St. Paul City Hall/Courthouse.
Join the City of St. Paul, Ramsey County and domestic abuse advocates from across our community as we honor the memories of the Minnesota women and children who have died due to domestic violence. Click here for video of the event.
10 busted in St. Paul selling stolen cars for scrap. Choi and St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith are urging lawmakers to tighten a loophole in state law, and make it mandatory that a person provide a title or proof of ownership before a car can be sold for scrap. Watch KARE 11's news story here. (KARE 11, Minneapolis, MN, August 18, 2011).
10 people charged in auto theft ring: The Ramsey County Attorney says a three-month investigation by St. Paul police into an auto theft ring has resulted in charges against 10 people. Watch KSTP's story here. (KSTP 5 Eyewitness News, St. Paul, MN, August 17, 2011).
10 people to be charged in Twin Cities auto theft ring. Authorities in St. Paul say they've cracked a ring of auto thieves that were snatching cars off the street and selling them at a metal salvage operation. Listen to MPR's story here. (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN, August 17, 2011).
10 accused in Ramsey County of stealing cars for scrap. They were among more than 50 cars that had been stolen in St. Paul and sold for scrap in the past several months, often crushed just hours after they were whisked off city streets, private lots and driveways. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, August 18, 2011).
10 charged with stealing 50 vehicles in St. Paul for scrap. "The message I want to be heard loud and clear is that auto theft is a high priority of our office, and that car thieves will be held accountable in Ramsey County," said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, August 17, 2011).
Police announce car theft metal scrapping bust in St. Paul: Unmarked tow trucks involved in theft, scrapping. Police found three different schemes during their investigation: the thieves used "spotters" to identify vehicles to steal; tow truck drivers stole vehicles directly off streets or parking lots; thieves stole vehicles and drove them straight to the scrap yard. (Fox News, St. Paul, MN, August 17, 2011).
Ramsey County officials struggle to maintain services amid steadily shrinking budgets. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has seen the average time it takes to charge a domestic-abuse case drop from seven business days in 2009 to a day in 2010, just by combining the review and charging of cases into a single desk. Choi said those kinds of reorganizations save time, encourage a victim's cooperation with the system and, hopefully, save lives. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, August 8, 2011).
Car Stolen. Car Found. Now the Bad News. Reuben Rosario’s article on a stolen car that was sold for scrap metal without proof of ownership. (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, July 29, 2011).
New Program Calls for Longer Sentences for Dangerous, Repeat Criminals. According to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, research shows that a large percentage of all felony crimes are committed by a small percentage of criminals (KSTP, St. Paul, MN, June 25, 2011).
County Attorney Choi Says Career Criminals May Expect Harsher Sentences. Choi announces he will reallocate resources to work with law enforcement to get dangerous and repeat offenders off the streets and out of the neighborhoods (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, June 25, 2011).
Dangerous and Repeat Offenders Program (DROP). Flanked by law enforcement, Choi announces an initiative dubbed DROP that will take advantage of state laws on dangerous and repeat offenders to send them to prison under enhanced penalties after a pattern of criminal behavior is established in the Courts (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, June 25, 2011).
Watch the video of County Attorney Choi's speech given at the Saint Paul Police Memorial Day Service on May 18, 2011 or click here to read it.
The Saint Paul Police Department Held Its 49th Annual Memorial Day Service in an outdoor ceremony at Mears Park earlier today to honor the thirty-one Saint Paul Police Officers that have been killed in the line of duty (KSTP, St. Paul, MN, May 18, 2011).
Protect Teen Victims in Sex Trafficking. Under current laws, a child involved in prostitution can be protected by the state's child protection statutes or treated as criminal and charged with a crime (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, April 10, 2011).
Supreme Court Ruling May Limit Consensual Sex Claims in Rape Cases. A ruling by Minnesota Supreme Court in a Ramsey County case may make it easier to convict defendants accused of rape who argue that the sex was consensual (Pioneer Press, Saint Paul, MN, March 24,2011).
Minnesota High Court Allows Experts in Some Rape Cases. Specifically, some victims might delay reporting a rape, or there might be no physical evidence of a sexual assault. The court record shows many people wrongly believe a rape victim would fight, be severely injured, or go to authorities immediately, and expert testimony on typical victim behavior could help jurors understand, the justices said (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN, March 24, 2011).
Decision Could Ease Way to Rape Conviction. "With this decision, we can educate jurors about some of the misconceptions [people] might have about why victims act the way they do when something like this happens to them," says Ramsey County Attorney John Choi (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, March 24, 2011).
Twin Cities Prosecutor to Lead Criminal Division. Veteran prosecutor Richard Dusterhoft has been named head of the Criminal Division of the Ramsey County Attorney's Office (Pioneer Press, Saint Paul, MN, March 17, 2011).
Shoreview - Based Property Developer Convicted on Four of Five Sex Assaults. A Shoreview man accused of sexually assaulting five women was convicted of four counts of criminal sexual conduct. 'It is not easy for victims of sexual assaults to come forward and report them under any circumstances." Choi says (Press Publications, Shoreview, MN, March 15, 2011).
Project Reaches Out to St. Paul's Young Black Men. A pilot program that grew out of a meeting with then-City Attorney John Choi, the local NAACP, a mayoral representative, and the Community and Justice Project at the University of St. Thomas started to help at-risk youth learn work and life skills (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, March 8, 2011).
Editorial: Sexually Exploited Kids are Victims by Jeff Bauer, Director of Public Policy for the Family Partnership (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, March 6, 2011).
Police, Advocates an Effective Team for Helping Domestic Abuse Victims: A real life assessment on the effectiveness of the Blueprint for Safety (Minnesota Public Radio, Saint Paul, MN, March 1, 2011).
KARE 11's story on juvenile prostitution (February 26, 2011).
Prosecutors Change Tactic in Child Prostitution Cases: Child prosecutes won't face criminal charges under a new policy announced Friday by all top prosecutors from across the Twin Cities metro-area(Minnesota Public Radio, Saint Paul, MN, February 25, 2011).
Teen Prostitutes Get New Status: County prosecutors from across the metro said Friday that they were overhauling their policies to ensure that juveniles who are prostituted are treated as crime victims instead of criminals, even as some areas see an uptick in teen prostitution (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, February 26, 2011).
Prosecutors take new approach to juveniles in prostitution cases. Instead, Choi says, the child will be referred to Ramsey County's Runaway Intervention Program. If the child does not meet the criteria for that program, he or she will be referred to the county attorney's Child Protection Unit or other agencies (Pioneer Press, Saint Paul, MN, February 25, 2011).
Joint Effort Seeks to File More Charges: A new Ramsey County Attorney program will pair prosecutors and investigators on select cases to bring them to court (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, January 18, 2011).
Giving Crimes A Second Look: "The Second Look Initiative" is a partnership between law enforcement and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi's office. He says a special prosecutor will help get the evidence they need to press charges in cases that can fall through the cracks (CBS Minnesota, January 18, 2011).
Plan Aimed at Helping Charge More Cases: Choi Lays Out "Second Look" Initiative: Newly sworn-in Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announces a collaboration Tuesday between prosecutors and area police agencies to charge cases that are initially declined by prosecution (Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, January 18, 2011).
Choi is 1st Korean-American County Attorney in US: John Choi has been sworn in as Ramsey County Attorney, becoming the first Asian-American county attorney in Minnesota (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN January 4, 2011).
Choi is 1st Korean-American County Attorney in US: According to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, Choi is also the first Korean-American to hold a county attorney's post nationwide (WQOW, Eau Claire, WI, January 4, 2011).
Choi is 1st Korean-American County Attorney in US: After his swearing-in on Tuesday, Choi said his family came to the U.S. from South Korea in 1973, when he was 3 years old (KARE11, Saint Paul, MN, January 4, 2011).
Choi is 1st Korean-American County Attorney in US: He says his family lived in low-income housing in Saint Paul...They came to the U.S. looking for a better life, and never thought their son would be elected county attorney." He says it shows "what a great country this is" (KSFY, Sioux Falls, SD, January 4, 2011).
Choi's Focus: 'To Get Kids on the Right Track': The new Ramsey County Attorney makes history as first Korean-American to hold such a post (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, January 4, 2011).
Sheriff, County Attorney Take Oaths in Ramsey County: John Choi has been sworn in as Ramsey County Attorney and becomes the first Asian-American county attorney in Minnesota and the first Korean-American county attorney in the nation (CBS Minnesota, January 4, 2011).
County Attorneys Make Changes: Newly elected Ramsey County Attorney John Choi plans to divide the prosecution of adult and juvenile criminal cases, which have been merged since 1995. Choi hopes the move will "elevate the profile and the importance" of the work done by the juvenile division, which also handles truancy and youth-intervention programs (Pioneer Press, January 2, 2011).
Farewell to Gaertner; Welcome Choi: Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner ends her long and successful tenure as a public leader in the criminal justice system. She passes the reigns to former St. Paul City Attorney John J. Choi after a resounding November election victory (Pioneer Press, January 1, 2011).
Choi Voted Ramsey County Attorney: The office will have a new leader for the first time since 1994, when Susan Gaertner was elected to the position (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, November 2, 2010).
"I'm truly humbled" by Ramsey County Attorney-Elect John Choi (Shoreview Post, Shoreview, MN, November 3, 2010).
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi sits down
with members of the local media.