EXCLUSIVE: Undercover officers bust prostitution operation

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Suspects offered to pay undercover female officers for sex.

Houston's northside was the target of an undercover prostitution sting Thursday night, as officers focused on men trying to buy sex.

Eyewitness News was granted unique access to the operation -- conducted by officers with Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen's Office -- to see and hear how prostitution cases are made.

Undercover female deputies posed as prostitutes as officers sat nearby, listening to the deals being made. It only takes an agreement to make a case.

The deputies were with the Special Investigations Unit. They arrested 8 men, adding to the almost 250 arrests they've made in the two years the unit has been in existence.

Thursday night, one man sped off when he knew he was caught. He led police on a chase through rush hour traffic on the North Freeway. When he was finally arrested, he told our crew he took off because he had traffic warrants.

Reporter: "Were you trying to buy sex?"

Alleged "john" Ricardo Sarabia: "No, I wasn't trying to buy it. She (undercover deputy) was asking me for it."

The Special Investigations Unit does a prostitution sting every other week. Sometimes they focus on prostitutes, other times on the men.

"It slows it down, but as you can see, it doesn't stop it. We think we're making a difference," said Sgt. Chuck Leithner, who was in charge of the operation Thursday night.

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prostitutioncrimehouston police departmentHouston
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