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Bryan is a city in southeastern Texas located in Brazos County and has a population of approximately 87,000 residents. Bryan and its sister city, College Station, known as the Bryan-College Station (BCS) area, are home to the state’s largest university, Texas A&M University. Due to the city’s location, prostitution and sex trafficking are pervasive issues within Bryan and surrounding areas. Bryan is located in the center of what is known as the Texas Triangle. The Texas Triangle is located in the heart of Texas, with the metro areas of Houston, Dallas–Fort Worth, and San Antonio acting as the Triangle’s vertices. The three destination cities are connected through Interstate 35, Interstate 45, and Interstate 10. These highways are popular routes for travel as individuals can easily move between the highly populated cities for either business or leisure. The city’s close proximity to Houston and its position along Interstate 45, which runs from Houston to Dallas, contributes to the significant amount of prostitution and sex trafficking activity within the county. In an effort to deter local sex buyers and sex traffickers, several demand reduction tactics have been incorporated by officials in the city. 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 are sex trafficking, child endangerment, and violence committed against people involved in these transactions.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response. For example, the Bryan Police Department has conducted periodic street-level reverse stings since at least 2003, and web-based stings since at least 2005. Those arrested have at times also been charged with drug possession. The names, ages, and other details about the sex buyers arrested are reported to the media. Complaints about prostitution in the area contribute to police conducting undercover operations. In April of 2018, six male sex buyers were arrested during a web-based prostitution sting. Officers used decoy ads on Backpage.com and arranged meetings with sex buyers at a local hotel. The decoy ads were posted on a website called Backpage.com that’s commonly used by people seeking to engage in sexual acts in exchange for money. The men were taken into custody after agreeing on a price and showing up at the hotel. A sergeant with the operation told reporters that undercover investigators were communicating with 25 to 30 men, and that the majority of those men had been identified. Backpage was shut down by the federal government during the operation. Bryan Police representatives said they thought they could have made about 20 arrests if the site was still live. All of the six men arrested were soon released from jail on bond. The sting was a collaborative effort on behalf of the Bryan Police Department’s Directed Deployment Team in coordination with the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office and Bell County Sheriff’s Office.
Neighborhood Action, Public Education:
Unbound Global is a network of anti-human trafficking agencies working in communities in the United States and around the world. Although the work of each Unbound location is unique, depending on the needs of its community, all Unbound agencies firmly believe that combating the demand for commercial sex is a crucial,
“Trafficking is a supply and demand business. Because there is a demand for cheap labor and a demand for commercial sex, human trafficking continues to exist. With sex trafficking, engagement in the commercial sex industry, whether in viewing pornography or purchasing sex, is creating profit for traffickers that drives demand. As we work to prevent trafficking and strengthen the protective factors of our communities, we also have to educate and fight the demand.” —Unbound Global
There are four Unbound agencies in Texas. Unbound Bryan College Station was launched in 2018, as part of Antioch Community Church College Station and has three main lines of effort: Prevention & Awareness, Professional Training, and Survivor Advocacy. In 2020, Unbound Bryan College Station reached 18 survivors, trained over 2,200 community members, youth, and professionals, including over 700 Texas A&M University students & faculty members on how pornography impacts human trafficking, conducted 53 trainings, completed over 40 hours of direct service hours, and equipped 23 businesses with resources. To read the full Unbound BCS 2020 Impact Report, click HERE.
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- Nine Men Arrested on Solicitation Charges (2003)
- “Prostitution Sting Snares 3,” Bryan Eagle, November 17 2004.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 10 Arrests,” Bryan Eagle, December 4 2005.
- 11 Arrested in Bryan Prostitution Sting (2006)
- “Prostitution Sting Snags 14 in Bryan,” Bryan Eagle, July 9 2006.
- “Prostitution Sting Leads to 20 Arrests,” Bryan Eagle, July 10 2006.
- “7 Caught in Bryan Prostitution Sting,” Bryan Eagle, May 6 2007.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 13 in Bryan,” Bryan Eagle, September 2 2007.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets Six in Bryan,” Bryan Eagle, January 27 2008.
- “Forget about ‘Pretty Woman,’” Bryan Eagle, February 3 2008.
- “12 Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Bryan Eagle, July 13 2009.
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- http://www.kbtx.com/Several-men-arrested-in-area-prostitution-sting (April 2018)
- http://wtaw.com/08/bryan-police-arrest-six-men-prostitution-charges/ (April 2018)
- http://www.kbtx.com/Four-men-arrested-in-Bryan-PD-undercover-prostitution-sting (September, 2018)
Neighborhood Action, Public Education:
- Unbound Global
- Unbound Bryan College Station
- Local group fighting to end human trafficking in BCS (2019)
- Unbound BCS 2020 Impact Report
- Sex trafficking survivor rescued at a local hotel shares how she found refuge (2021)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “3 Women Face Prostitution Charges,” Bryan Eagle, May 26 2002.
- “Operation Lover Boy Results in Arrest of 3 Bryan Residents,” Bryan Eagle, October 3 2003.
- “Bryan Police Department Arrests Woman on Prostitution Charges,” Bryan Eagle, September 28 2004.
- “Prostitution Sting in Bryan Nets 5 Arrests,” Bryan Eagle, October 19 2004.
- “Four Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Bryan Eagle, November 25 2004.
- “Prostitution Kingpin Nabbed in Joint Effort,” Bryan Eagle, December 5 2004.
- “Eleven in Bryan Face Prostitution Charges,” Bryan Eagle, November 13 2005.
- “Bryan Police Net Two in Prostitution Sting,” Bryan Eagle, January 28 2006.
- “Undercover Sting Nets Two Bryan Women,” Bryan Eagle, April 18 2006.
- “Two Women Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Bryan Eagle, November 5 2006.
- “Five Women Charged with Prostitution,” Bryan Eagle, January 25 2007.
- “Police Arrest Two in Prostitution Sting,” Bryan Eagle, February 17 2007.
- “Bryan Police Arrest Six in Prostitution Sting,” Bryan Eagle, April 14 2007.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets Eight Arrests,” Bryan Eagle, June 3 2007.
- “7 Arrested in Bryan Prostitution Sting,” Bryan Eagle, June 15 2008.
- “War on Prostitution Never Ends,” Bryan Eagle, August 24 2008.
- “28-Year-Old Charged with Prostitution,” Bryan Eagle, October 15 2008.
- “Two Women Held on Prostitution Charges,” Bryan Eagle, July 12 2009.
- “Two Women Jailed on Prostitution Charges,” Bryan Eagle, January 22 2012.
- “18-Year-Old Amarillo Woman Charged with Prostitution in Bryan,” Bryan Eagle, December 20 2014.
- https://www.kbtx.com/Man-get-10-years-in-prison-for-pressuring-woman-into-prostitution (2019)
- https://theeagle.com/bryan-man-sentenced-to-9-1-2-years-prison-for-promoting-prostitution (2023)
- https://www.kbtx.com/bryan-man-sentened-nearly-decade-prison-multiple-crimes/ (2023)
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Bryan Woman Arrested after Admitting to Assault,” Bryan Eagle, September 11 2006.
- “Suspect Arrested in Woman’s Death,” Bryan Eagle, January 27 2010.
- “Prosecutors Press Case in Peck Murder Trial,” Bryan Eagle, July 14 2011.