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Dirty John DFW: Area Sex Trafficking & Solicitation Arrests

Police Arrest Suspect | Image by PeopleImages.com - Yuri A/Shutterstock
Police Arrest Suspect | Image by PeopleImages.com - Yuri A/Shutterstock

The Dallas Express is launching a new feature shining a light on law enforcement’s efforts to combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the metroplex.

This past year, Dallas-Fort Worth has made the headlines several times for illicit commercial sex operations.

For instance, 2023 closed with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office uncovering a large-scale sex trafficking ring that led to the arrest of 11 alleged sex solicitors. The new year opened with the North Texas Trafficking Task Force, headed by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas, and the Collin County Constable’s Office teaming up to put nearly four dozen alleged johns behind bars in January.

In Dallas, an estimated 80 individuals have been arrested for allegedly soliciting sex from prostitutes across five police operations conducted between March 7 and May 27, according to a spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department. Two of these large-scale busts have been reported on previously by The Dallas Express.

Upon the announcement of the first round of arrests, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia issued a warning to sex solicitors, as reported by WFAA:

“Buyer beware, we want to make it as uncomfortable as possible as we can for individuals who go into that area and affect our businesses and our community in a way not positive for our city.”

All the alleged offenders taken into custody during the two operations in March were men ranging in age from 19 to 64. DPD has yet to release information about the suspects arrested in the three following operations conducted in May.

DX will report on these operations and more across the upcoming “Dirty John” installments, focusing first on Dallas, the northwest part of which has become ground zero for the illicit commercial sex trade.

While DPD refrained from specifying where exactly the crackdown on prostitution is taking place due to it being part of an ongoing operation, northwestern Dallas — and especially Council Member Omar Narvaez’s District 6is known for this illicit activity. It has a high concentration of sexually oriented businesses, and residents and business owners have been vocal about their concerns over skyrocketing prostitution since the Dallas prostitution ordinance was ruled unconstitutional last summer.

Earlier this month, local business owners and community members held a meeting at Parker University and demanded that DPD develop a long-term solution.

“What we see is 24/7 street prostitution, In other words, it’s 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. There’s no time when it’s worse. There’s no time when it’s less. It is ongoing all day,” Dr. Brandie Cox, who runs a veterinary office in the area of Walnut Hill and Northwest Highway, said, per Fox 4 KDFW. “These women stand in front of legitimate businesses on private property. They solicit. They block entrances.”

“Those ladies are not there by themselves,” said one of Cox’s clients, Susan McBride, per Fox. “They have pimps parked around here. But I don’t want to be the victim of a gunfight.”

DPD officials said that efforts were underway to enforce the newly updated prostitution ordinance passed by the Dallas City Council last October.

As of May 29, 180 prostitution-related offenses had been logged citywide, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard. Of these, 146 took place in Narvaez’s District 6.

The commercial sex trade is also directly linked to human trafficking, with 36 such offenses clocked in Dallas so far this year. District 6 was once again where the vast majority of these human trafficking crimes occurred.

Severely understaffed, DPD has been focused on reducing violent crime across Dallas. However, it has a force of just 3,000 officers — woefully short of the 4,000 recommended by a City analysis — and a budget of $654 million for this fiscal year. The Dallas City Council opted to allocate considerably fewer tax dollars to law enforcement than the leaders of other high-crime jurisdictions.

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