A growing problem in the Texas panhandle has been a relatively quiet one.

Until it's not, and it appears we've reached the point where this problem just got loud.

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Sex trafficking and commercial sex work is starting to hit the forefront of things and become a focus of law enforcement.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division recently teamed up with several local law enforcement agencies in the panhandle after noticing more commercial sex advertisements pop up on the web.

When the number of those ads increases, it typically means there's more of a demand for those types of services. They were right on the money with their intuition.

Last Friday, July 22 they arrested eight individuals involved in prostitution crimes. In that same bust, they were able to recover two sex trafficking victims. That's a win-win.

Of those eight people arrested, three of them were from Lubbock, one from Amarillo, and the other four spread out across the panhandle.

All eight of the people arrested were charged with Solicitation of Prostitution. That is now considered a state jail felony charge. Law enforcement recently upped the severity of that charge to help try and combat it. It was previously just a misdemeanor that didn't always have jail time attached to it.

One was also charged with prostitution which is still a misdemeanor.

Always stay vigilant and look for warning signs that you are being recruited for sex trafficking. That's where it starts. Once they've sucked you in, you are essentially their slave and in a really bad position. Keep your radar up!

The 806's Strange & Screwed Up Crimes Of 2021.....So Far

It's 2021 and folks are making up for staying indoors and following the law all throughout 2020. This isn't always a good thing, though. There have been quite a few odd, wacky, and outright grotesque crimes committed in the Texas Panhandle this year so far.

From Friona to Lubbock, there's plenty of bad behavior on display throughout the 806 in 2021.

Take a look at what these hellions have gotten themselves into:

Thrilled to Be There: the Smiling Mugshots of Hutchinson County

Hutchinson County has plenty of people who have committed a criminal blunder (or two). And just like any other bigger city, jail is no fun. However, some of the residents of Borger and Stinnett are believers in keeping their spirits high in the face of adversity.

Not sure what we mean?

Well....let's just say that Randall County's cheerful inmates aren't the only ones who seem happy to be arrested....While there’s nothing funny about committing a crime, these offenders in Hutchinson County certainly do know how to light up a pod with their smile :-)