Galveston, TX

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

Galveston is a coastal city of approximately 53,000 residents, located on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the southeastern suburbs of Houston, Texas within Galveston County. City officials and local residents have reported ongoing problems with prostitution in Galveston for almost a century; in recent years, the community has also documented several cases of prostitution-related homicide, and sex trafficking of minors.

In an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex that drives all prostitution and sex trafficking (as well as numerous collateral crimes), the Galveston Police Department has conducted periodic street-level reverse stings since at least 1990. The operations are often conducted on and along major thoroughfares identified by residents and business owners as “hot spots” for prostitution activity. Following their arrest, sex buyers may have their names and other identifying information released to the public.

Web-based reverse stings have been conducted in the city since at least 2015, when “Operation On the Hook” occurred and netted eleven arrests of individuals allegedly seeking sex with children. Some of the text communications between predators and law enforcement involved undercover operatives posing as 13 to 15 year olds.  Eight suspects were charged with online solicitation of a minor, three with prostitution and engaging in organized criminal activity.  In December, 2022, fourteen men were arrested after a web-based sting operation was conducted in Galveston. Local  police along with Texas DPS, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, and Homeland Security made 14 arrests with 16 total charges after conducting an operation to target online solicitation of minors and solicitation of prostitution. The identities of the men were publicly disclosed.  Their charges included “Online Solicitation of a Minor” and “Solicitation of Prostitution.” 

Key Partners

  • Galveston Police Department

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings:

Web-Based Reverse Sting:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Texas
Type City
Population 53219
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