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ISP arrests Minnesota fugitive

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - An Idaho State Police trooper arrested a Minnesota man on a fugitive warrant following a traffic stop Tuesday.

During the stop, the trooper learned the man had recently been convicted of multiple child sex abuse charges in Hennepin County, Minnesota, and the man was violating his parole by being in Idaho without permission from the Minnesota court.

Troopers booked 42-year-old Aaron J. Hjermstad of Cannon Falls, Minnesota into the Bonneville County Jail on the fugitive warrant.

During the arrest, troopers located and seized several electronic items found inside the suspect's vehicle possibly connected to the Minnesota charges. The items will be sent to the Idaho State Police Cyber Crimes Unit for forensic analysis.

The arresting trooper is a member of the Idaho State Police Criminal Interdiction Team. He and others recently attended a training hosted by the Idaho State Police in Idaho Falls that focused on interdiction efforts for the protection of children. The training instructed officers on how to better identify victims and investigate suspects involved in child sex crimes and human trafficking.

"ISP and all our local partners are very committed to protecting children everywhere from violence and abuse," said Captain Chris Weadick of Idaho State Police District 6 in Idaho Falls. "Knowing how to identify endangered children and threats to children is a very high priority, and some of the investigative techniques taught at this recent training are already in use by troopers patrolling our highways."

The two-day training course hosted by the Idaho State Police was held November 9 and 10 at the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office in Ammon. The Wyoming Division of Victim Services presented the training with assistance from ISP criminal interdiction experts. A number of representatives from Eastern Idaho law enforcement agencies attended.

"We can't know for sure, but with our troopers arrest of the fugitive from Minnesota on Tuesday, we may have stopped a criminal suspect before more harm was done," Captain Weadick said. "This training was a victim-centered approach that presented the best research and practices to understand behavioral patterns of both suspects and victims, and how officers can work with partner agencies to investigate and get victims help."

The investigation into the fugitive Hjermstad revealed he was a former teacher and coach who fled Minnesota prior to his sentencing on multiple sex crime convictions.

Anyone with information or anyone seeking information on child exploitation is urged to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at missingkids.org, or call their cyber tip hotline at 1-800-THE LOST. Anyone with information on possible cases of child exploitation in Idaho is also urged to contact their local Idaho State Police District office.

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