Public Safety

Minnesota man charged with attempted sex trafficking after Homeland Security sting

Terrance Nordwall of Faribault agreed to pay $200 each for teen girls, feds say

Terrance Nordwall
Terrance Nordwall

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Minnesota man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to attempting to have sex with two Iowa teens after responding to an online ad from an undercover agent posing as a sex trafficker of minors.

Terrance D. Nordwall, 50, of Faribault, Minn., was charged in U.S. District Court last week with one count each of attempted sex trafficking of children, attempted enticement of minors and travel for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct.

A search warrant affidavit shows a Homeland Security Investigations agent placed an internet ad March 25 posing as a trafficker of minors in the Twin Cities and provided a phone number to contact him. Nordwall responded, saying he wanted to meet the girls for sex and agreeing to pay $200 for each. He eventually agreed to travel to Cedar Rapids for the illicit acts, according to the warrant.

The warrant included multiple graphic texts from Nordwall to the agent, asking about the 14- and 15-year-old girls.

Nordwall has previous Minnesota convictions for third-degree criminal sexual conduct, possession of pornographic work involving minors and two counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The warrant shows Nordwall just completed 15 years on the sex offender registry in February resulting from the third-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction.

On April 5, a Hiawatha police investigator and a federal agent followed Nordwall’s vehicle from a local hotel to an area near the Hiawatha Library, where they identified themselves as law enforcement and told him they knew why he was in Iowa, according to the warrant.


Nordwall admitted he had been talking and texting with a man who was prostituting teens and was supposed to meet him at the library, the warrant said. Nordwall said he “picked up escorts” but not underage. He just wanted to see whether these girls were real and then planned to take photos of them to provide to law enforcement, according to the warrant.

Investigators, who had permission from Nordwall to look at his phone, found naked images of females but he denied they were minors.

If convicted, Nordwall faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and possibly up to life on the trafficking charge, up to 10 years on enticement and up to 30 years on the travel charge.

His trial is set for Aug. 26 in U.S. District Court.

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