Berthold man arrested in undercover child sex sting

MINOT, N.D. – A Berthold man is in custody following an undercover child sex sting, stemming from a state and federal human trafficking investigation.

State investigators say that 53-year-old Steven Bloomquist and a friend arranged to have sex with two 15-year-old girls in exchange for drugs and alcohol.

Court records indicate that an undercover FBI officer posed as one of the ‘girls’ and arranged to meet the men at a gas station in Berthold on Oct. 14, and the friend agreed to show them the way to Bloomquist’s farm.

When officers attempted a ‘takedown’ at the gas station, the driver of the truck sped off and officers could lost them.

Berthold Police along with state and federal agents tracked down Bloomquist at his home, where he admitted to investigators that he spoke with a girl over the phone that he believed was 15 years old and had also used the website Backpage.

Bloomquist faces an A-felony charge of patronizing a minor for commercial sexual activity. He made his initial court appearance Monday and will be back in court in December.

Bloomquist remains in custody and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

It’s unclear at this time whether the other man involved will face charges.