HPD, area agencies arrest dozens in human trafficking operation

Houston Police Department Vice Division Human Trafficking Unit along with area police agencies have made multiple arrests in a recent human trafficking investigation in Katy.

Forty-seven people were arrested—27 were females and 20 males. Eight were confirmed victims. Eight were charged with human trafficking related offenses. They also recovered a 16-year-old who was being sold for sex, as well as a runaway.

Houston Police Sergeant John Wall said human trafficking is not just an inner city problem and they're not targeting one specific area.

"It's occurring out in the suburbs. It's occurring in smaller communities. We look at every area across the Houston area, Harris County area and counties that join Harris County," said Wall.

He said about 90 percent of the recruiting for human and sex trafficking happens online through social media.

HPD Commander JB Dale added immigrants are needed to tell police about crimes being committed.

"They are the victim, they are not the suspect, we are not here to arrest them. We are here to provide resources and help to them because a lot of these folks that are coming over here are scared of law enforcement. We need their help. They are the eyes and ears out there," said Dale.

Police say many human and sex trafficking victims can be found on Bissonett Street, as well as at Asian massage parlors and brothels.

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