WACO, Texas (KWKT/KYLE) - In an effort to target and reduce sex trafficking, a national coalition of law enforcement agencies conducted coordinated sting operations that led to 752 arrests, including 723 sex buyers (or "johns") and 29 pimps or sex traffickers.
The National Super Bowl Sex Trafficking Sting ran from January 18th to February 5th and included nearly 30 law enforcement agencies across 15 states.
According to data, sex buyers are more often Caucasian, at least high school educated, and in many cases, college educated, middle-aged-or older men. Many are married and very few are unemployed.
According to interviews of those who self-reported as being involved in prostitution, most started before they turned 21, used drugs-- most often high addictive drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine. A majority reported experiencing violence against them, including sexual assault as an adult or child.
Cumulative numbers from the 13th National Johns Suppression Initiative operation are as follows: 29 sex trafficking arrests, 723 sex solicitation arrests (sex buyers), $1,118,557 in minimum possible fines, 86 adult victims recovered and 6 juveniles rescued.
In McLennan County, 44 were arrested and among them, one was a pimp. McLennan County ranked #4 in the nation with the most arrests.
Number one went to the Harris County Sheriff's Department in Texas with 178 sex buyers arrested. The Houston Police Department ranked #2, Cook County Sheriff's Department in Illinois ranked #3.
The McLennan County Sheriff's Department says they caught a man over the age of 70, and that's the oldest they've ever had in this type of sting.
These offenders are facing at least a Class B Misdemeanor with some facing additional charges.
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