Calcasieu Parish, LA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Calcasieu Parish located in southwest Louisiana, between Beaumont and Lafayette.  The Parish is considered a distant suburban area of Houston, and is known to have sex trafficking and prostitution activity in unincorporated areas, and in the cities of Sulphur and Lake Charles. The commercial sex market generates numerous complaints to police from businesses and residents, which prompts most police operations. In June, 2014 the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit and the FBI Conducted “Operation Cross Country VIII” targeting human trafficking and prostitution.  Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Vice Detectives and the FBI, with the assistance of the CPSO Sex Crimes detectives, CPSO Victims Services, CPSO Patrol Division and Louisiana State Police arrested 13 women and 2 men following an undercover operation named “Operation Cross Country VIII” targeting human trafficking and prostitution. During the two day operation, detectives encountered women advertising sex for monetary compensation on the internet, as well as those involved with transporting the women to the designated meeting locations.

Also in 2014, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Vice Division received complaints of possible prostitution at the Asian Massage Parlor located at 242 W. Hale Street in Lake Charles which resulted in a 10 month investigation where detectives learned prostitution activity was being performed inside the massage parlor. The investigation, assisted by the FBI and the Louisiana State Police, revealed the Asian Massage Parlors operating in Bossier City and Lafayette were also involved in prostitution activity.  On August 21, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Vice Detectives, Bossier Vice Detectives, Lafayette Metro Police, FBI Agents, and State Police executed simultaneous search warrants at the massage parlors. During the execution of the search warrant in Calcasieu Parish, detectives recovered approximately $6,500 cash; in Bossier, approximately $12,000 in cash; and in Lafayette, approximately $5,700 in cash.

In February 2017, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested several people after doing a search of a nightclub in Westlake. After multiple complaints of prostitution, alcohol-compliance issues, illegal narcotics activity, and theft taking place at the club, multiple agencies executed a search warrant at Club Cabaret.

Sex trafficking of minors has also been documented in the county. For example, In June, 2015 the CPSO Vice Division received a a tip about a 16 year old runaway juvenile from Texas, and in their investigation the CPSO learned that the girl was being trafficked for prostitution in the vicinity of Lake Charles. An undercover agent set up a prostitution deal with the juvenile, confirmed her identity, and received information leading to the arrest of her trafficker. The offender admitted that he picked up the juvenile in Alexandria, LA and brought her back to Lake Charles to “pimp” her out. The man was a registered sex offender who was convicted of carnal knowledge of a juvenile in 2012.  For the 2015 offense, he was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with human trafficking, pandering, and violations of sex offender registration.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. Among their efforts to reduce commercial sex sales, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has conducted at least two reverse stings in Lake Charles. The first operation, conducted in January 2008, netted the arrests of ten johns in a 24-hour period. All of the men’s names were disclosed to the public.  Similarly, in January 2012, CPSO deputies again deployed female undercover officers to walk streets in Lake Charles as decoy prostituted women. Five men were arrested as a result. As after the first sting, the names, ages, and town of residence of the arrestees were released to news outlets. In June 2012, detectives with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Vice Division arrested 5 men following an undercover sting operation near the intersection of Kirkman Street and 18th Street and surrounding areas in Lake Charles, targeting those seeking sex for monetary compensation. The identities of the five men arrested and charged with solicitation for prostitution were published in news releases.

In September 2017, undercover officers in Sulphur arrested seven men for solicitation of prostitution. Sulphur Police Department detectives began investigating after receiving complaints of prostitution of at local motels. Using the website backpage.com, undercover officers identified individuals seeking to pay for sex and learned that some individuals wanted to exchange illegal drugs for prostitution. The officers met with these individuals, resulting in seven arrests. The identities of those arrested were publicly released.

Key Partners

  • Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • Sulphur Police Department
  • Lake Charles Police Department

Key Sources

 

State Louisiana
Type County
Population 198788
Location
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