The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA) and law enforcement partners from across our region, conducted a human trafficking/prostitution and “john” sting from Oct. 15-30.
Detectives and agents from multiple agencies along with Non- Government Organizations (NGOs) worked in an undercover capacity posing as “johns” and “prostitutes.”
“Our NGOs were also instrumental in reaching out to those persons who may have been trafficked and provided them with support services during their rescue,” a statement from MCSO reads.
During this two-week long operation, dubbed “Operation Cross County,” law enforcement officers worked tirelessly to apprehend those persons who were either providing illicit services or seeking the same.
“Our primary goal was to proactively address prostitution and human trafficking activity in this community and surrounding areas. We also sought out those victims who may have been forced into providing illegal services through force, fraud or coercion. We were able to identify at least five victims who requested support services and one 16-year-old juvenile was recovered as a runaway,” the statement continues. “We will continue to send a message, through enforcement actions, that we are not going to tolerate this activity in our community in the hopes that we will deter demand, control supply, rescue those who have been forced into trafficking and prosecute those who continue to thwart our legal system.”
A total of 75 people were arrested during the sting – 32 males were charged with Prostitution. Of the 32 males, two were additionally charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and two were charged with Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution.
Eleven people – nine males and two females – are considered pimps, according to the sheriff’s office.
Twenty-eight women were charged with Prostitution with one facing an additional weapons charge as she was reportedly armed with a .22 caliber pistol.
The sting involved the following agencies: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police Department, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County Pct. 3 Constable’s Office, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Department of Homeland Security, Conroe Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Attorney General and Deliver Fund.