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Nelson man arrested in sex sting

A 60-year-old Nelson man was charged with three felony counts of criminal sexual conduct involving a juvenile after a sting by the Pope County Sheriff's Office.

Dean Lee Swerman was arrested by the Pope County Sheriff's Office on Aug. 11.

According to authorities, Swerman "randomly initiated contact" through social media with someone he believed was a 13-year-old child. The child, however, was actually an undercover Pope County sheriff's deputy.

Swerman's communication with the child described sexually explicit behavior and solicited

the child to engage in sexual conduct, according to authorities. Swerman drove to Pope County and attempted to meet the child.

When Swerman was arrested, a methamphetamine pipe, body oil and other sexual aids were reportedly found in the vehicle.

Swerman appeared in Pope County District Court to face felony charges of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree involving a victim 13-15, criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree involving a victim 13-15, electronic solicitation of a child or someone the person believes to be a child, and a gross misdemeanor charge of fifth degree possession of a controlled substance.

Swerman was released on his personal recognizance with conditions.

"Sexual exploitation of our youth and online solicitation of minors continues to be a statewide

problem," said Pope County Sheriff Tim Riley in a news release. "The Pope County Sheriff's Office is working diligently to address the issue within our local communities."

If anyone believes a child is being solicited online for sex, they are encouraged to

report it to their local law enforcement.

The Pope County Sheriff's Office was assisted in this investigation by the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Glenwood Police Department.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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