A North Texas youth pastor, high school coach and volunteer firefighter is among 46 arrested for commercial sex, the Department of Homeland Security said.

Among those arrested were a volunteer firefighter, a youth pastor, a high school teacher, a football coach and the director of operations for a major hospital chain.

DALLAS — Forty-six people have been arrested in connection with commercial sex in North Texas, including a volunteer firefighter, a youth pastor, a school teacher, a football coach, and the director of operations for a major US Department of the Interior hospital chain. The security service has been announced.

According to John Perez, HSI Dallas Supervisory Special Agent, Homeland Security’s Dallas office said undercover agents had placed ads suggesting sex on several websites, where “thousands of ads are posted every day in the DFW area.”

Perez also oversees the North Texas Human Trafficking Task Force.

The attack operated from hotels in Southlake’s town square and near Stonebriar Center in Frisco.

“More affluent areas of the DFW metroplex,” Perez said. “Where there is money, there is definitely commercial sex and the sex trade.”

“There are a lot of misconceptions about people who consume this. These are the people you consider family members. positions that we trust with our children and our families,” Perez said.

The operation also coincided with the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign, a national public awareness campaign designed to educate the public, law enforcement, and other industry partners on how to recognize and respond to signs of human trafficking.

“Prevention of sex trafficking is one of our agency’s top priorities, which is taken very seriously by every law enforcement agency affiliated with the North Texas Human Trafficking Task Force, led by HSDI in Dallas,” HIS Special Agent said. in Dallas Lester R. Hayes. news release.

“By pursuing those involved in this crime, we hope to disrupt this activity and help victims of human trafficking by connecting them to lawyers and the resources they need,” Hayes continued.

Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the operation: the Arlington Police Department, the Colleyville Police Department, the Collin County Sheriff’s Department, the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, the Frisco Police Department, the Irving Police Department, the Midlothian Police Department, and the Tarrant County Anti-Trafficking Department. Target group.

“Those who are victims of human trafficking are the scourge of the earth, and we will continue to prosecute those responsible for human trafficking and those who solicit their sex,” Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Wayborn said in a press release.

Perez said traffickers often prey on vulnerable young women.

“These victims rarely get anything nice, so when the trafficker gives them designer clothes or invites them to gourmet dinners — even little things like hair or manicures — they are pampered, and that’s part of the grooming process.” Perez said. “They exploit these vulnerabilities.”

Once trafficked women fail to meet the quota set by their trafficker, they are viciously attacked.

“They could be they are raped or kept without food and water for several days until they meet this quota,” Perez said.

Anyone with information about human trafficking suspects or victims of human trafficking is asked to contact the National Security Investigations Hotline at 1-866-DHS-2423.

Last week, the Dallas Police Department said its Special Investigations Unit conducted an operation to combat online sex trafficking in the city and county of Collin, resulting in the arrest of 23 people for soliciting prostitution.

“The harm done to our society by sex trafficking cannot be overestimated,” said Frisco Police Chief David Shilson. “We are united in holding accountable those who exploit vulnerable members of our community.”

If you would like to learn more about HSI’s mission to combat human trafficking in your community, please click here or visit @HSI_Dallas on Twitter.

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