DALLAS — On Sept. 20, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas-led North Texas Trafficking Task Force announced the arrests of 134 individuals for the purchase of sex, a felony violation in Texas.
The five-day, multiagency operation ran from Sept. 11 through Sept. 15. It included partners from 15 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies across four cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to address the growing demand for human trafficking and commercial sex in the area.
“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,” said 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.”
Arrests included two confirmed human traffickers; a nurse 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 is the first state in the country to prosecute sexual solicitation as a felony, which is a substantial step toward curbing the demand for commercial sex.
The operation also resulted in the seizure of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and firearms, all of which were turned over to state and local law enforcement agencies.
The law enforcement agencies that participated 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 Sherriff’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.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected sex trafficking through its toll-free tip line at 866-347-2423. Investigators staff the tip line around the clock. From outside the United States and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate human trafficking, follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @HSIDallas.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.