DULUTH, MN — A doctor out of the Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital is one of eight people who were arrested last week in connection with an undercover operation dealing with online solicitation of minors.
Dr. Ogechukwu Adekweh has been charged with engaging in or agreeing to hire a minor to engage in prostitution. Police say he was speaking to an undercover officer he believed to be between the ages of 13 and 16.
Authorities say they conducted the undercover operation known as the Juvenile Demand Suppression Detail at a hotel in Duluth on January 30th and 31st.
According to the criminal complaint, authorities placed ads on various sites known for soliciting commercial sex, and Dr. Adekweh was among those who responded.
The ad showed several pictures of a female in suggestive poses, describing the female as willing to engage in sexual activity.
The criminal complaint states that Dr. Adekweh asked an undercover officer if she was available for a quick visit.
After the two sides agreed on a price, undercover officers revealed that the female was not yet 16-years-old. Dr. Adekweh then arrived at the hotel room and was arrested.
On Monday, the Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital commented on Dr. Adekweh’s arrest, stating:
“We are deeply troubled by the allegations regarding Dr. Adekweh. Although we understand that they involve conduct unrelated to Grand Itasca, he has been placed on administrative leave.”
Lieutenant Dan Chicos, with the Duluth Police Department, says the sting was a complete collaborative effort. Both state and local agencies participated in an effort to bring awareness to the nationwide issue of the online solicitation of minors.
Though it was just a two-day operation, Lt. Chicos says it took the agencies several weeks to plan out.
Lt. Chicos says the issue is not just exclusive to the Twin Ports community, but is a national issue in which social media gives those who engage the ability to reach out from afar and communicate with children.
“It’s important for parents in this community to make sure they know who their children are communicating with online. Take a real interest when their kids are online. See who their communicating and what websites they’re visiting. Again, we really want to raise for online safety for our kids in this community,” Lt. Chicos said.
Lt. Chicos pointed out that those who were arrested didn’t fit a particular profile. He says the operation proves that anyone can be on the other side of an online conversation, and it’s important for parents and children to understand that.
We’ve uploaded a copy of Adekweh’s criminal complaint below.