Bossier Parish is located in northwest Louisiana, in the Shreveport metropolitan area. The government seat is Bossier City. Prostitution activity have been well-documented in the cities and surrounding areas of the parish. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking. For example, in June, 2019 an FBI operation netted numerous arrests for prostitution over the weekend, including 10 suspects that were booked in Bossier Parish. Local law enforcement authorities confirmed the sweep but could provide no further details, including exactly where the arrests were made. The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Department booking reports included the identities of 10 men and women arrested on prostitution-related charges the same day. The charges included prostitution, possession of meth and other drugs, promoting prostitution, and knowingly recruiting female subject to provide prostitution services. Nearly a dozen additional arrests were made in Caddo Parish during the same FBI operation.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. The Bossier City Police and Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office have conducted web-based and street level reverse stings. The names, ages, and addresses of those arrested for soliciting prostituted women are reported in local news outlets, along with details of how the stings were conducted. For example, a reverse sting in March, 2013 resulted in the arrest of seven sex buyers whose photos, names, home towns, and dates of birth were released to the media.
The Shreveport PD frequently collaborates with the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, and officers from neighboring Bossier City and Bossier Parish. Web stings, first conducted in the city in 2005, are also conducted at regular intervals (two to three times per month). As a warning to other would-be sex buyers, the Shreveport Police Department may release the names, ages, and addresses of arrestees on their website. In June 2012, Shreveport and Bossier City police participated in the FBI’s Operation Cross Country VI, a three-day sweep of individuals suspected to be engaged in the sex trafficking of minors. Of the 104 people arrested, 30 were apprehended in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. Law enforcement officials suspect the city’s location– situated along Interstate 20, on the state’s border with Texas and Arkansas– has led many to favor it for trafficking operations.
In June, 2015 five men were arrested during a reverse sting in Bossier Parish, and were charged with solicitation of prostitution. Suspects were transported and booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility, and their identities were provided in news releases. The operation took place in an undisclosed area of the Parish, and was a collaboration of law enforcement officials from the Bossier Sheriff-Police Narcotics Task Force, Shreveport Police Department’s Vice Unit, Bossier City Police Department’s Vice Unit, FBI Child Exploitation Task Force and the FBI Shreveport Field Office. The operation was launched in efforts to target prostitution, human trafficking and child exploitation in Bossier Parish.
In November 2017, the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested 57 people as part of an initiative targeting prostitution in Caddo Parish. The men were booked into Shreveport City Jail and/or the Caddo Correctional Center, and their names, ages, and home towns were released to the public. In the operation (dubbed “Slick John”), Caddo Parish authorities teamed with Shreveport police. In the operation a man was also charged with child sex trafficking, a trafficking victims was rescued, and two vehicles, drugs, and firearms were seized.
In 2013, the Louisiana John School was launched that will accept any arrested buyers in Bossier Parish, Shreveport, and Bossier City. An excerpt from the program’s home page:
“Louisiana John School is a diversion or sentencing/probation condition program for people arrested for soliciting the services of a Commercial Sex Worker. As a comprehensive public health program the John School will address issues to include violence associated with prostitution, the link between prostitution and addiction, and the public health implications of the same. Offered to first time offenders and habitual offenders, classes range from a single one day course to several courses over several sessions. The single one day class is an eight-hour program offered on Saturdays only which features speakers and presentations on the above referenced topics. The multiple sessions class components of John School vary with greater specificity and intensity with each charge.”
The program is open to self-referrals and non-criminal-justice referrals, as well as accepting men arrested in reverse stings who attend as part of a diversion program or sentence. Louisiana Law requires all persons convicted of Prostitution shall be referred for counseling concerning AIDS (Louisiana RS 14:82), and the program provides health counseling and expands the education topics to other areas. The program is open to persons charged and/or convicted of:
- Soliciting for Prostitutes
- Inciting Prostitution
- Promoting Prostitution
- Prostitution by Massage
First time offenders convicted of Soliciting the Services of Prostitutes or any of the above referenced charges are eligible to attend the One Day Course as part of their pre/post sentencing. Non-Violent Offenders charged with Soliciting the Services of a Prostitute or any of the above referenced charges are eligible to attend in preparation of defense work for pre-trial disposition. Habitual Offenders: Non-Violent Offenders convicted of two or more charges for Soliciting the Services of a Prostitute or any of the above referenced charges are eligible to attend the John School Recovery Skills Program as part of their pre/post sentencing or probation. Length and terms of condition of John School Recovery Skills Program is based upon case by case evaluation and assessment results. To publicize the program’s availability to those not in the criminal justice system, the program had been advertised on Backpage.com in 2013.
- Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office
- Bossier City Police Department
- Shreveport Police Department
- Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office
- Lousiana State Police
- Louisiana John School
Street-Level Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “8 Booked in Crackdown”, Baton Rouge Advocate, August 24 1986.
- “Ten Arrested in Prostitution Operation”, Baton Rouge Advocate, August 27 1994.
- “Police Target Neighborhood”, Baton Rouge Advocate, March 18 2000.
- “Joint Reverse Sting Operation Nets 14 Arrests”, Press Release, Shreveport Police Department, February 2 2001.
- “Police Conduct Prostitution Operation”, Press Release, Shreveport Police Department, March 26 2004.
- “Shreveport Police Vice Squad Cracks Down on Prostitution”, Shreveport Times, May 29 2004.
- “Sting Nets 14 Arrests”, Shreveport Times, November 11 2004.
- “Police: Juror Needs Time to Get Well”, Shreveport Times, April 6 2006.
- “More than a Dozen Arrested in Shreveport Vice Sting Operations”, CBS/KSLA-TV 12, March 18 2013.
Web-Based Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “Cops Taking Action against Prostitution with Technology”, CBS/KSLA-TV 12, April 25 2014.
- https://www.shreveporttimes.com/2017/10/31/read-names-57-caught-slick-john-prostitution-sting (2017)
- https://www.bossiernow.com/fbi-operation-nets-10-arrests-for-prostitution-in-bossier-parish/ (2019)
- https://www.ksla.com/men-accused-soliciting-prostitution/ (2019)
- https://www.shreveporttimes.com/25-total-charged-multi-agency-prostitution-sting-last-week (2019)
- “Program to Stop Solicitors Starts in Shreveport-Bossier”, ABC/KTBS-TV 3, May 22 2013.
- “Shreveport Police: Zero Tolerance for Prostitution”, ABC/KTBS-TV 3, September 20 2013.
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Arrests Made in Underage Prostitution Sting”, CBS/KSLA-TV 12, June 25 2012.
- “3 Juveniles Recovered, 16 Pimps, 76 Prostitutes Arrested in Sex Trafficking Operation”, FOX/WXIX-TV 19, June 24 2014.
- “Killeen-Area Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking a Minor”, ABC/KXXV-TV 25, July 18 2014.
- “Shreveport Police Make Human Trafficking Arrest”, Shreveport Times, October 8 2014.
- “Two Adults, One Juvenile Busted for Human Trafficking, Prostitution,” NBC/KTAL-TV 6, December 18 2014.
- “Texan Pleads Guilty to Juvenile Prostitution,” Brownsville Herald, October 9 2015.
- “Three Jailed, Baby Removed, in Prostitution Sting,” Shreveport Times, March 17 2015.
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area: