Trafficking defendant pleads not guilty
On July 22, following more than a month in the Burleigh County Detention Center, Aaron Collins waived his right to a preliminary hearing and pled not guilty to attempted human trafficking. Collins was arrested in the same operation that snared former Cortez Journal Sports editor Bobby Abplanalp on June 5.
If convicted of the Class A felony, both Abplanalp and Collins could face up to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Both men are currently being held at the Burleigh County Detention Center. Bond has been set at $50,000 cash.
Since his arrest, Abplanalp has been terminated from his position as sports editor of the Dickinson Press. Prior to working for the Dickinson Press, Abplanalp was employed as the sports editor of the Cortez Journal from July 2010 until May 2013. Abplanalp’s preliminary hearing is currently scheduled for August 5.