Ward County prostitution sting leads to charges against Minot public school teacher, California woman

BERTHOLD, ND — A Minot High School teacher and a woman are facing misdemeanor charges following a prostitution sting in Berthold.

Berthold Police Chief Al Schmidt said Jeffrey Ball, 52, of Des Lacs, was arrested on February 4 after a prostitution sting was carried out in the towns of Berthold and Carpio.

Xin Gao, 55, from California, was also detained.

Investigators say Ball was driving Gao to Carpio to make a deal with what they thought was a “john” but was actually an undercover agent.

Ball and Gao were formally charged on Tuesday, Schmidt said.

Schmidt said the charges stemmed from a months-long undercover operation.

“She came in and demanded $400 for sex. The transaction was completed and she was detained for prostitution. Mr. Ball was brought in, he was outside in the vehicle and upon questioning, he admitted to driving her to different calls,” Schmidt said.

Minot Public School administrators confirmed to Your News Leader that Ball is an agriculture teacher at the Central and Magic City campuses and has been placed on leave pending further investigation.

A district statement read: “The district has not received any information indicating that there is or has been a risk to the health or safety of staff or students, but as is always the case, the district will follow policy and legal requirements to ensure we have a safe learning and working environment.

Gao and Ball will make their first court appearances on March 16 at the Berthold Municipal Courthouse.

Copyright 2022 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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