A federal agency stated on Friday that 46 men, including a high school football coach, a youth pastor, and the head of operations at a hospital, were arrested as part of a multi-agency operation targeting the demand for commercial sex in North Texas. Federal law enforcement withheld the suspects’ identities at first, but once they were booked, they revealed their names along with mugshots. Human Trafficking Awareness Month coincided with the collaborative police operation, which was highlighted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign.
According to federal authorities, sex trafficking occurs when one person uses another through force, fraud, or coercion to get a commercial act in return for money or other goods, or when the person performing the act is a minor.
“Every law enforcement office that has a part on the HSI Dallas led North Texas Trafficking Task Force takes very seriously” the mission of “thwarting sex trafficking,” stated Lester R. Hayes Jr., Special Agent in Charge of HSI Dallas, in a press release issued on Friday. “By going after the perpetrators of this crime, we aim to put an end to it and help victims of human trafficking find advocates and resources they need,” the authors write.
Local and federal law enforcement say they detained the guys on January 12 and 13 as part of an effort to reduce the demand for prostitutes. The vast majority of the suspects are from the North Texas area. The Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign was responsible for leading the effort.
On Tuesday, police in Frisco, Texas, revealed that they had detained 23 of the 46 males. Meetings between suspects and undercover police were held at hotels in Frisco and Southlake.
According to the Frisco Police Department, law enforcement officials reacted to online solicitations for prostitution and met with the suspects at hotels with the help of the facilities’ management and staff.
Without incident, police were able to question and ultimately apprehend the Frisco suspects before transporting them to the Collin County Jail in McKinney.
Carrollton, Irving, McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Flower Mound, and Little Elm were frequently cited as the places of origin for the males who were arrested. According to Frisco police, one individual said he was from Aurora, Colorado.
In a press release, Assistant Chief Darren Stevens of the Frisco Police Department expressed gratitude to the city’s hotels for their “proactive effort and participation” in preventing criminal activities. “We will continue to take efforts to convey this kind of internet activity is not acceptable in Frisco, as more than 6.4 million tourists annually attend events and conferences in Frisco,” the mayor said.