Prostitution sting lands more than 60 people under arrest

January 31, 2014 4:13:45 PM PST
When deputies went undercover to try to catch people paying for sex, they say they found plenty of hookers and johns to arrest.

Forty eight men tried to buy sex, not realizing the women they had approached along the street were undercover Harris County Sheriff's deputies. Nine women tried to sell their bodies, not realizing the men they had approached along the street were undercover deputies, too. All were arrested and charged with prostitution in the last eight days in the latest sting operation against prostitution.

The street-side operation took place near I-45 and FM 1960, Aldine Bender Road and US 59 and I-10 at Freeport.

The stings were conducted as part of a national effort to fight prostitution in the days leading up to the Super Bowl on Sunday, which is among huge gatherings that often attract the illegal industry.

"News flash to those who think prostitution is a victimless crime: It's a greedy industry that thrives on forced labor, drug addiction and sometimes even illegal imprisonment," Sheriff Adrian Garcia said. "Many of the reformed prostitutes who came through the Harris County Jail tell us that working the streets led them to using illegal drugs; others tell us they used illegal drugs and turned to prostitution to finance their illicit addictions. So stopping prostitution stops other crimes and emancipates victims. It also fights back against sex slavery and other forms of human trafficking."

Four other people encountered in the operation were arrested on charges ranging from drug possession to driving without a license. One of the men arrested for soliciting sex in exchange for money was on parole for aggravated sexual assault. He tried to escape by car and was captured after a brief chase.

The Precinct 3 and 4 constable's offices joined the operation. One of the solicitation charges was brought against a Precinct 4 deputy. That officer, who was not part of the sting operation, was wearing his uniform trousers when he was handcuffed and sent to jail.

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