After police shut down an alleged sex ring run out of a couple’s Minnetonka home, investigators are worried that the business is still operating from the Washington County jail.
Ricky Turner Jr., 28, and his girlfriend, Brittany Marie Harenza, 25, were charged May 18 with racketeering and other crimes related to a 14-state underage sex trafficking ring that they allegedly advertised on Backpage.com and chronicled on their personal Facebook pages, according to court records.
Turner has since been held in lieu of $350,000 bail at the Washington County jail, where he has been in frequent contact with at least one prostitute, according to a search warrant made public on Wednesday.
The prostitute has defended Turner on her Facebook page, calling him the true “King.”
“It has been identified through jail calls that girls are ‘trapping’ [prostituting] … and working on getting Turner bailed out of the Washington County jail,” according to a warrant request written by a Minnetonka police detective.
The investigator wanted permission to search the cellphone of a prostitute who allegedly works for Turner, believing it will show the continued trafficking of the woman “and that Turner is continuing to operate his criminal business while in custody of the Washington County jail.”
That woman has flown back and forth between Kansas City and Minnesota, according to the warrant, and worked as recently as June 1 from a Bloomington motel for $180 an hour.
Investigators believe there was evidence that the prostitute was sending Turner money.
Harenza was released on May 22 after a bond company posted $50,000 for her release. She has been ordered to have no contact with Turner.
Before their arrest, the two frequently boasted about their business on their now-deleted Facebook pages. Turner posted about taking care of his “finesse bunnies” and reinvesting in them, posted videos and pictures of his Rolex watches, BMWs, his Lake Minnetonka home and plastic surgery butt implants for Harenza, according to search warrants.
Harenza posted videos of herself counting large stacks of cash, saying the money was made in a couple hours on a single night with two girls, according to the same warrants. On the same page, she also posted photos of her and her daughters, saying she was raising them to be “queens.”
They posted about traveling to cities across the country. Police obtained records from Backpage.com showing that ads were taken out when they visited those cities, according to the criminal charges. Police uncovered more than 1,600 sex ads on Backpage associated with Harenza’s phone number, according to the criminal charge.
Brandon Stahl • 612-673-4626