The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office announced last Wednesday that it arrested a 40-year-old man for allegedly trafficking a 16-year-old girl.
Brandon Williams, the arrested man, is currently being held at the Tarrant County Corrections Center in Fort Worth on a $100,000 bond, according to jail records.
Authorities have not disclosed the girl’s identity because she is a minor. However, it is reported that the girl was a runaway from Mansfield.
The investigation that led to Williams’ arrest began when the Tarrant County Human Trafficking Task Force received a tip earlier this month. According to the information, a 16-year-old girl who had recently run away from home was being advertised as a prostitute online, per WFAA.
The task force eventually carried out a sting in which police contacted the individual posting the ads — possibly Williams — and arranged to meet at a motel in west Fort Worth. Deputies led the suspect to believe that they were going to pay money to engage in sex acts with the girl.
On June 16, deputies staked out the room that would host the rendezvous. They witnessed a man, who they later concluded to be Brandon Williams, leave the room.
Deputies came to the room, and a girl answered the door. Police immediately recognized her as the girl depicted in the online sex ads. Deputies then moved to arrest Williams.
The Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in March 2017.
A study, conducted by the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault in UT Austin’s School of Social Work, estimated there could be more than 300,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas alone, including roughly 79,000 underage victims, per the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office.