Calcasieu Parish, LA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Calcasieu Parish has a population of about 200,000 and is located in southwest Louisiana, between Beaumont and Lafayette.  The Parish is considered a distant suburban area of Houston, and for decades has had well-documented problems with 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 on 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.  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. 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. In 2019, three men were arrested by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Department for their alleged involvement in the sex trafficking of a 14-year-old girl. During their continuing investigation detectives say they were able to identify these men as among those with whom the child victim was forced to be sexually abused for pay. One of the men was charged with 1st degree rape of the child, the others with “carnal knowledge of a juvenile.” In June, 2022, two defendants in a Federal case were sentenced to prison after being convicted on charges of sex trafficking and attempting to entice a minor to engage in prostitution. One was convicted by a jury following a two-day trial and the other pleaded guilty to sex trafficking in February 2022. Evidence presented in the case revealed that the defendants recruited minor females to engage in prostitution and began communicating with a 14-year-old female in Lake Charles. One was well aware when he began communicating with her that she was a minor, but still pursued her and successfully convinced her she would profit by engaging in prostitution through him.

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 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 five 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, 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.

Some local sex buyer arrests are the result of allegations of crimes against real victims, rather than the product of reverse stings using undercover police decoys. For example, in September, 2022, a Lake Charles man was arrested after allegedly offering to pay a child to have sex. The suspect sent lewd messages to a child under 16 years old, telling her how much money she would be paid to perform a sex act, according to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. The messages were reported to CPSO, and detectives spoke with the suspect and arrested him on charges of indecent behavior with juveniles and trafficking of children for sexual purposes. He was held at the Calcasieu Correctional Center on $500,000 bond.

Public educaiton efforts targeting demand have also occurred locally.  For example, in January, 2023, the United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT) Coalition in Calcasieu Parish met for a special forum in honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The topic of discussion was how to decrease demand. About the effort, the UAHT coalition and expansion manager, said:

“Just like any business, if you stop the demand for something, you can stop folks who are wanting to purchase. It’s the same thing when it deals with sex.”

UAHT Outreach and Prevention Coordinator said:

“If you have demand, if somebody desires something, then there’s going to be someone who’s going to supply that thing. When we talk about demand for human trafficking, what we’re talking about is the demand for cheap labor … more so the desire to purchase sex.”

Key Partners

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

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Public Education:

Local Sex Trafficking, Child Sexual Exploitation, Related Violence:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Louisiana
Type County
Population 202858
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