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KALISPELL — Seven men received misdemeanor citations for responding to a fake online advertisement for prostitutes in northwestern Montana.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says the ad ran on April 17 and 18 and received 145 emails and 60 text messages. Seven men arranged to meet a woman and were cited when they showed up at a local motel.

The operation was a combined effort by the sheriff's office, Kalispell police, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Northwest Drug Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations.

Curry says the agencies set up the sting in response to an increase in sex trafficking in northwestern Montana.

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Curry noted that prostitution can involve adults and minors who are victimized and participating against their will.

The names of those cited were not released.

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