‘Heinous crimes’: Youth pastor, firefighter, and high school teacher among nearly 50 arrested in Texas prostitution sting
A high school teacher, youth pastor, hockey player, and volunteer firefighter were among 46 men arrested in an undercover operation in Texas, according to Yahoo News.
Reports state that nearly a dozen law enforcement agencies took part in the two-day operation Jan. 12-13, 2023, in Frisco, Texas.
The men in question would make arrangements online to go to the Hilton at Southlake Town Square or the Hyatt Regency hotel, with the intent to then solicit prostitution.
In Texas, soliciting prostitution is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
“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.
“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,” Waybourn added.
The teacher, from Marcus High School in Texas, also worked as the football team’s offensive coordinator. The teacher reportedly resigned after being placed on administrative leave, according to the Lewisville Independent School District. However, there is reportedly no evidence connecting the teacher to any illegal activities with students.
“We have no indication the circumstances of his arrest involved students,” said Amanda Brim, the school board’s communications officer.
A youth pastor, from Forth Worth, Texas, was also arrested, according to the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to the volunteer firefighter and semi-professional hockey player, a director of operations for a large Texas hospital network was also arrested.
A representative from HSI said the government agency hopes to have disrupted the activities of human traffickers.
Victims will be connected to “advocates and resources they need,” the spokesperson added.
Homeland Security Investigations Dallas is highlighting the sting as part of its Blue Campaign, a national public awareness campaign designed to inform the public on how to recognize indicators that human trafficking is taking place.
In May 2022, HSI and other government officials rescued 70 missing children in El Paso, Texas, as part of a three-week operation against human trafficking.
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