The arrests took place in two missions over a four-day span in September.
The first sting took place in Missouri City when undercover officers identified and arrested suspected human traffickers and sex buyers, commonly called “johns,” the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s office said. Officers also identified and rescued multiple victims.
The second sting took place two days later in Stafford.
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“In only four days, and with unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19, Operation Patriot took huge strides in eliminating the sex-trafficking trade in our county,” said Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton. “In only four days, five lives were saved.”
More than 50 criminal charges were filed for crimes related to human trafficking, including prostitution, promotion of prostitution and felony drug charges, Middleton said.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that preys on the most vulnerable, particularly children and young adults,” said Assistant District Attorney Claire Andresen, a human trafficking and child pornography prosecutor. “The focus on identifying and arresting sex buyers combatted the ‘demand’ side of human trafficking while the operation simultaneously worked to eliminate the ‘supply’ side.”
Agencies involved in Operation were the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance, the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office, Department of Family and Protective Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Public Safety, DeliverFund, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Bend County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office, Fort Bend County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office, Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office, Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police Department, Missouri City Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Office of the Texas Attorney General, Stafford Police Department, the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission, Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners and the YMCA – International.
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“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- if you are engaged in human trafficking in any way – we are coming for you, and we will be relentless,” Middleton said.