Local Sting Operation Leads to 21 Arrests

Tarrant County Sheriff patrol unit
Tarrant County Sheriff patrol unit | Image by Tarrant County

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Unit has announced that it conducted a sex-trafficking sting in late February that netted 21 suspects who were charged with solicitation of prostitution, a state jail felony.

TCSO coordinated with The Net, a non-profit organization that dedicates itself to fighting human trafficking in North Texas, according to a news release.

“To date we’ve served over 1,300 survivors of trafficking, engaged with more than 15,000 men attempting to purchase sex, and provided dignified employment to 17 survivors. All of these programs exist because if proximity has taught us anything, it’s that everyone is worthy of the chance to rebuild their lives,” The Net FW website reads.

The arrests included a Tarrant County Employee and two men who worked for the Army Corps of Engineers and Texas Health Resources.

Unfortunately, the demand is still high for sex trafficking,” Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn said in the release.

“Those out there considering the purchase of a sex slave need to know it is not if but when we catch you. We are looking for you,” Waybourn added.

“The NET’S MASE (Men Against Sexual Exploitation) program helps disrupt sex trafficking at the source by reducing demand through buyer engagement and community education. They provide support for those individuals who have addictions to pornography and sex and are involved in purchasing sex. After the initial interview, the suspects were offered the opportunity to speak with them,” the release explained.

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office thanked The Net and the Texas Department of Public Safety for helping the department with the two-day operation.

The names of the people arrested have not been released to the public, according to CBS News.

As reported by The Dallas Express, the Dallas Police Department conducted a massive sting in early March that led to the arrests of 30 persons for allegedly soliciting sex and seized over $70,000 in cash, four handguns, various drugs, and two vehicles.

In Dallas, 81 prostitution-related offenses have been reported as of March 17, in addition to 15 human trafficking offenses, per the City’s crime analytics dashboard. The majority of these crimes were committed in Council District 6, represented by Council Member Omar Narvaez.

Dallas routinely sees more crime, particularly in its downtown area, than neighboring Fort Worth, which is patrolled by a dedicated police unit and private security guards. Adding to the crime problem is the long-standing shortage of police officers, as the Dallas Police Department only has about 3,000 officers, although a City analysis recommended 4,000 to adequately patrol the city.

In addition, the DPD is working with a budget of just $645 million this fiscal year, far less than what other high-crime municipalities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, have budgeted for their police forces.

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