The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas-led North Texas Trafficking Task Force has announced the arrest of 134 individuals for the purchase of sex, a felony violation in Texas. The operation, which spanned five days from September 11 through September 15, involved 15 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across four cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
"Sex trafficking, and human trafficking as a whole, is one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the U.S. Human trafficking organizations often target minors and other marginalized populations because of their vulnerabilities," stated HSI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Lester R. Hayes Jr. "Potential customers who seek commercial sex are often as culpable as those who levy violence to keep their victims entrapped."
Among those arrested were two confirmed human traffickers, a nurse employed at a major medical network in Dallas, four individuals with access to the secure area of DFW airport, four noncitizens with final orders of removal, one pending hire with a major city police department, and one prominent DFW city employee.
Texas stands as the first state in the nation to prosecute sexual solicitation as a felony, a significant step towards curbing the demand for commercial sex. The operation also yielded the seizure of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and firearms, all of which were handed over to state and local law enforcement agencies.
Participating law enforcement agencies in the operation included HSI Dallas, the Arlington Police Department, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, the Dallas Police Department, the Ellis County Sheriff's Office, the Grayson County Sheriff's Department, the Haltom City Police Department, the Lake Worth Police Department, the Midlothian Police Department, the Richland Hills Police Department, the Richardson Police Department, the Tarrant County Human Trafficking Task Force, the Texas National Guard, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.