Lake Charles, 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

Lake Charles is a town of about 78,000 residents located in southwest Louisiana, between Beaumont and Lafayette in Calcasieu Parish. The city is a distant suburb of Houston, and has had substantial, well-documented sex trafficking and prostitution activity for decades. In addition, sex buyers have been arrested for harassing and repeatedly soliciting local residents (mostly women and girls) for acts of prostitution, generating numerous complaints to police.  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, Louisiana. 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.

Among their efforts to reduce commercial sex trafficking activity, and the wide range of other crimes that inevitably accompany the sex trade, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has included the use of demand reduction tactics.  Reverse stings have been conducted in Lake Charles. The first known operation, conducted in January 2008, resulted in the arrest of ten male sex buyers 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 reverse sting, the names, ages, and town of residence of the arrestees were released to the public.

Over two days in February, 2021, multiple law enforcement agencies conducted a joint human trafficking operation aimed at identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking, as well as holding those that traffic and exploit them accountable. The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in this operation along with the Jefferson County (TX) Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, HSI, Port Arthur P.D., Port Neches P.D., Nederland P.D., Orange P.D., Jefferson County Pct. 1 Constables Office, Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Constable Pct. 2, Texas DPS, McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, and DEA. Non-governmental organizations that provided assistance were Garth House, Harvest House, Collective Liberty and St. Elizabeth Forensic Nursing, S.A.N.E.. According to authorities, two human traffickers were identified, and an investigation into other traffickers was ongoing. Five victims of human trafficking were identified and were immediately provided social services to include medical, safe housing and counseling, according to authorities. In addition, nine men were arrested for attempting to purchase sex from adult women, and three of those men were also charged with attempting to purchase access to sexually abuse children. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were publicly disclosed.

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.

Key Partners

  • Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • Jefferson County (TX) Sheriff’s Office
  • Jefferson County (TX) District Attorney’s Office
  • Jefferson County (TX) Pct. 1 Constables Office
  • McLennan County (TX) Sheriff’s Office
  • Texas DPS
  • HSI, DEA
  • Port Arthur P.D.
  • Port Neches P.D.
  • Nederland P.D.
  • Orange P.D.
  • Chambers County Sheriff’s Office
  • Orange County Constable Pct. 2

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrests, Disclosure of Identities:

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Disclosure of Identities:

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Disclosure of Identities:

Local Sex Trafficking, Child Sexual Exploitation, Related CSAM:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Local Prostitution Ordinance:

State Louisiana
Type City
Population 77832
Comments are closed.