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Humble is a city with an estimated population of 17,000, situated northeast of Houston, near Spring and Atascocita in Harris County, TX. Prostitution in Humble can be traced back to the 1800s when, increases in prostitution activity accompanied the economic boom triggered by the installment of railroads during the 1870s and 1880s. According to a report developed for the Texas State Historical Association, the first major oil boom in the state, “attracted a swarm of prostitutes [to the area] during the initial decade of the twentieth century.” Prostitution continues to be a problem in Humble and throughout Harris County. More recent example include a case in October 2022, where police officers conducted a sting on a local massage parlor, after hearing multiple allegations of prostitution. Police officers entered the parlor and were immediately offered sex acts in exchange for money. The two women were arrested for prostitution. It was later discovered that the massage parlor had no Massage Establishment License, and the two women were unlicensed massage therapists.
Attempts to combat prostitution and its ancillary crimes have included tactics targeting demand. For example, in late October of 2013, eight male sex buyers were arrested in an online prostitution sting during Halloween dubbed “Operation Boo” in northwest Harris County. According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, undercover deputies posed as prostituted people as well as sex buyers online. They arranged to meet the suspects at hotels in the Humble area. The sex buyers were then arrested.
Web Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.chron.com/Humble-Atascocita-men-caught-up-in-prostitution (2013)
- “14 Arrested in Halloween Prostitution Sting Near Humble”, Houston Chronicle, November 5 2013.
- “HCSO Arrests 14 in Humble Online Prostitution Sting”, Humble Tribune, November 5 2013.
- “Harris County Undercover Online Prostitution Sting ‘Operation Boo’ Nets 14 Arrests”, ABC/KTRK-TV 13, November 5 2013.
- “Online Prostitution Sting Nets Over a Dozen Arrests in Humble Area”, Humble Observer, November 5 2013.
- “Online Prostitution Sting Nets Over a Dozen Arrests”, Humble Observer, November 6 2013.
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.click2houston.com/humble-area-massage-parlor-shut-down-after-2-employees-charged-with-prostitution-deputies-say/ (2022)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- David C. Humphrey, “Prostitution”, Handbook of Texas Online. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
- https://polarisproject.org/MoreThanDrinksForSale_FINAL.pdf (2016)
- https://www.cnn.com/texas-sex-slave-human-trafficking/index.html (2018)
- https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/investigations/thetrack/ (2019)
- https://communityimpact.com/experts-address-common-misconceptions-human-trafficking-greater-houston-area/ (2019)
- FHWA Office of Highway Policy Information Fact Sheet (2019)
- Crime Stoppers of Houston, 2020, Outcomes of Human Trafficking Related Cases Filed in Harris County
- https://www.ranchhandsrescue.com/sex-trafficking/Houston main trafficking route US (2020)
- https://etactics.com/texas-human-trafficking-statistics (2021)
- https://demand-forum.org/houston-2021 report-outcomes-human-trafficking-cases-filed-harris-county/ (2021)
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