An anti-human trafficking bust led to the arrest of 21 men in southeast Texas.
According to a press release, the operation conducted by the Beaumont Police Department and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office worked together in a 2-day operation targeting “sex buyers”.
The 21 men now behind bars range in age from 26 to 65, and were men that solicited sexual advances from both minors and adults.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery. The exploitation of men, women, and children for forced labor or sex by a third party for profit or gain,” Officer Carol Riley said in the press release. “A person doesn’t have to be transported across borders for trafficking to take place, it can occur anywhere.”
25 million people are enslaved via human trafficking worldwide. When narrowing down these numbers to Texas, their just as shocking. According to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, 234,000 victims of human trafficking are active at any given time in Texas, and 79,000 victims are minors.
“Sex trafficking is fueled by the demand that these buyers provide,” Office Riley said. “Without men who are willing to purchase sex, traffickers and pimps would not exploit victims, many of who are children, and force them into a life of prostitution. The purpose of this operation was to reduce demand and deter people from buying sex.”
Anyone can join the fight against human trafficking. If you see something, say something. Anyone who suspects human trafficking activity can call the Polaris National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.