Galveston, TX

Tactics Used

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

Galveston is a coastal city of approximately 50,000 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 at least one case of forced prostitution of minors.

In an effort to reduce commercial sex transactions and sex trafficking, 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.

Key Partners

  • Galveston Police Department

Key Sources



State Texas
Type City
Population 50815
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