ST. CLOUD -- A local task force working to fight human trafficking has received a major grant.

On Friday, the Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force was awarded a $575,000 two-year grant from the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs. The funding will help the task force continue their work as well as expand their resources.

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The task force is made up of a partnership of many state and local organizations and law enforcement agencies including the Stearns County Attorney's Office, Stearns County Sheriff's Office, St. Cloud Police Department, Waite Park Police Department, Terebinth Refuge, and Catholic Charities.

The Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force began in 2018 and has so far received over 350 tips, investigated over 100 cases, charged 44 felonies, and supported more than 239 trafficking victims.

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