Atascosa County, Texas, has a population of about 51,000, and its county seat is Jourdanton. Atascosa County is part of the San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution activity has been well-documented throughout the county, and generates complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market are sex trafficking, child endangerment, and violence committed against people involved in these transactions. In April, 2016, the District Attorney and County Sheriff held a press conference at the Atascosa County Courthouse to discuss the results of a long-term collaborative investigation into organized crime which resulted in 86 separate charges handed down by the Atascosa County Grand Jury. Specifically, 29 indictments were handed down along with 23 arrests. Four individuals were from Atascosa and others from Bexar and Harris Counties. The indictments included engaging in organized criminal activity with underlying offenses of human trafficking, human smuggling, sexual assault, theft of motor vehicles and money laundering. The criminal enterprise targeting rural areas and minors as young as 13 were forced into prostitution by the group. This investigation was a partnership between the 81st District Attorney’s Office Border Prosecution Unit Initiative and Texas Department of Public Safety.
Sex buyers have been arrested and their identities publicized in the county. For example, in June, 2017, the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office announced that a convicted Registered Sex Offender had absconded the area after cutting off his ankle monitor. He had been residing in the Primrose Subdivision, 7 miles north of Poteet, and was on Parole and the Texas Department of Pardon and Parole issued a warrant for his arrest. He was considered as Armed and Dangerous, and had an extensive criminal record involving sex crimes involving girls under 16 years of age, compelling prostitution, Aggravated Assault, Assault on a Public Servant and Resisting Arrest.
- Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office
- 81st District Attorney’s Office Border Prosecution Unit Initiative
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- https://www.breitbart.com/border/2015/09/30/busted-prostitution-in-strip-clubs-across-texas/ (2015)
- https://www.pleasantonexpress.com/articles/breaking-news-local-arrests-made-in-human-trafficking-crime-ring/ (2016)
- https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Atascosa-DA-says-ongoing-arrests-targeting (2016)
- https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Atascosa-DA-says-ongoing-arrests-targeting (2016)
- https://www.sfgate.com/news/local/article/Atascosa-DA-says-ongoing-arrests-targeting (2016)
- https://www.facebook.com/jourdantonPD/posts (2017)