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Eight arrested in Dickinson prostitution sting

DICKINSON, N.D. - Eight people were arrested over the weekend after a bust of what the Police Department is calling a prostitution ring.

Bradley Gingell, Josue Gomez, Jose Montano and Mark Twogood, all of Dickinson, were arrested, along with Bradley Balerud and Brian R. Gebeke, both of Bismarck, and Monty Sondrol, of Hebron, on suspicion of hiring an individual to engage in sexual activity, a Class B misdemeanor.

Shanika Walker, a Wisconsin resident, was arrested on suspicion of prostitution, also a Class B misdemeanor.

Sgt. Kylan Klauzer said the arrests happened Jan. 4 and Jan. 5 in Dickinson. Klauzer wouldn't confirm where the arrests were made, although several police responses for "prostitution laws" at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Dickinson were listed on a log of police calls from over the weekend.

News of the arrests was sent to area media via press release from the department on Monday morning. All eight individuals were booked into the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center before posting a $300 cash bond for release.

Klauzer said Monday that a full report on the arrests wouldn't be ready "for a few days." As of early Monday evening, Forum News Service had not received any information on charges levied against the eight.

When reached by phone Monday, Balerud said he planned to fight any charges he might face. Balerud is listed on the website for U.S. Recovery Services as the Bismarck business's president, although he said Monday he was "fired" because of his arrest.

"I'm innocent," Balerud said. "I will be fighting any charges. A buddy and I were looking to hire a dancer for some adult entertainment for some friends. There was never any communication for sexual favors."

Hampton Inn & Suites General Manager Katie Culver said she would neither confirm nor deny that any arrests for prostitution were made at the hotel last weekend.

Klauzer said the sting operation had been in effect for some time.

"We've gotten calls from citizens concerned about prostitution in Dickinson in the past," Klauzer said. "We have undercover operations where we place johns and janes at different times. We want the community to know this is something we take seriously."

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations assisted with the sting, according to bureau spokeswoman Liz Brocker and the police press release.