KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
October 6, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
An undercover operation led by a collaboration of various agencies with the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office resulted in 46 arrests and five rescued victims connected with human trafficking.
Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton collaborated with the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance, social service organizations, and several local agencies from Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, and Galveston counties. What is being called, “Operation Patriot” involved two missions over four days.
Successful Operation Overcame COVID Challenges
“With unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19, Operation Patriot took huge strides in eliminating the sex-trafficking trade in our county,” says District Attorney Brian Middleton. “In only four days, five lives were saved.”
The operation involved identifying and arresting those engaged in human trafficking and related crimes. Officers targeted sex buyers, commonly called “johns.” The focus on identifying and arresting sex buyers combatted the “demand” side of human trafficking while the operation simultaneously worked to eliminate the “supply” side. Five victims were rescued because of the operation.
“I am encouraged to see the continued efforts being made to rid our county of this evil,” says Fort Bend County Constable Wayne Thompson. “Thankfully, our DA has taken an active role in these types of investigations that have been denied and overlooked by others.”
Further details on locations are being withheld due to the security of the mission.
Over 50 Criminal Charges Filed
“Over 50 criminal charges were filed for crimes related to human trafficking, including Prostitution, Promotion of Prostitution, and felony drug charges,” says Middleton. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you are engaged in human trafficking in any way – we are coming for you, and we will be relentless.”
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and targets those most vulnerable such as children and young adults. A locally-based non-profit organization, Childproof America works to help and educate families about these crimes and how to protect our children.
For more information and for help, reach out to the National Human Trafficking Hotline online or call them at 1-888-373-7888.