Roughly a dozen women from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area were picked up during a prostitution and human trafficking sting operation recently, law enforcement officials said.
The Colony police Lt. Darren Brockway said the Denton County Sheriff’s Office approached him the first week of July for assistance in their sting. The Colony police provided undercover officers and perimeter surveillance to a hotel in the 5800 block of State Highway 121, he said.
“On Thursday we arrested roughly a dozen females for prostitution, and two of those were teenagers,” Brockway said Tuesday. “Three other arrests were made that day and charged with drug-related offenses.”
According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, the operation’s goal was to identify juveniles who had been trafficked in the sex industry and to reduce demand for prostitution services.
One individual reached out for counseling assistance on how to change their way of life during the operation and is what some law enforcement officials are calling a “rescue.”
Brockway said Friday that an operation aimed at catching “johns” followed the day after the first set of arrests, in the same area. Fourteen would-be clients were arrested, he said.
Eight of them had entered the United States illegally and have Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds, sheriff’s investigators said. Three of the ICE detainees had felony criminal histories, including one from the Denton area.
“Most of the trafficking isn’t on the street corner but [on] cyber streets,” Brockway said. “I hope this brings awareness to how rampant this issue is. ... We could click on an ad and the phones would be blowing up within minutes.”
The names and exact charge for each person detained in the operation were not available for release Tuesday afternoon, according to Sandi Brackeen, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s officials said that with the ongoing investigation, they expect to make two to four more arrests.
“I hope people think twice before getting involved or partaking in any sort of prostitution or human trafficking activity,” Brockway said.
Homeland Security Investigations also took part in the two-day operation.
“We are proud of the staff involved in this operation, and we will continue to conduct these operations to protect our children from sexual exploitation,” Sheriff William Travis said in a prepared statement.