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Among those arrested were a volunteer firefighter, youth pastor, a high school teacher and football coach, and the director of operations for a large hospital network in North Texas.
Sex trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of commercial act in exchange for something of value, or if the person performing the commercial sex act is under 18 years of age.
“Thwarting sex trafficking is one of our agency’s top priorities, one that every law enforcement office that has a role on the HSI Dallas led North Texas Trafficking Task Force takes very seriously,” said Lester R. Hayes Jr., HSI Dallas Special Agent in Charge. “By targeting those involved in this crime, we hope to disrupt this activity and provide assistance to human trafficking victims by getting them connected to the advocates and resources they need.”
Law enforcement offices participating in the operation consisted of the Arlington Police Department, Colleyville Police Department, Collin County Sherriff, Dallas Police Department, Dallas County Sherriff’s Department, Dallas County District Attorney Investigators, Flower Mound Police Department, Frisco Police Department, Irving Police Department, Midlothian Police Department, and the Tarrant County Human Trafficking Task Force.
“The victims of these heinous crimes are treated like commodities, used to make as much money as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn. “Those who traffic victims are the scourge of the earth, and we will continue to target those responsible for the trafficking and those who solicit sex from them.”
“The harm caused by sex trafficking in our society cannot be overstated. The Frisco Police Department is thankful for law enforcement partners like the Department of Homeland Security Investigations in helping address this serious problem," said David Shilson, Chief of Police Frisco Police Department. “We are united in bringing to justice those who would exploit vulnerable members of our community.”
Anyone who is or who knows a potential victim in this, or any other case of sex trafficking or human trafficking or has any information regarding this or any other investigation should contact Homeland Security Investigations Toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2423.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the 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 over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
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