46 men including a youth pastor and a hospital operations director have been arrested as part of a bust on a sex trafficking ring in North Texas, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Federal authorities announced that two hotels in Frisco were used in the bust, which resulted in the arrests of 46 men across just two days. Law enforcement added that sex trafficking remains a big problem in Texas, and there’s been extensive efforts to crack down on continued activity in the state. While the names of those arrested were not released, among those detained was a high school teacher, a youth pastor, a volunteer firefighter, a director of operations at a hospital, and a “semi-pro hockey player.”
“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.”
The bust is among the biggest in recent history. “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 in a news release. “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.”
John Perez of Homeland Security Investigations added that the activity isn’t just in Dallas, but all over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area.