Big Prostitution Bust In The Panhandle Saves Two Victims
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.
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!