Lubbock, TX

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Lubbock is a city of approximately 254,000 residents located in Lubbock County and is situated between Amarillo and Midland in northwest Texas. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been documented in the city. For example, in August of 2013, the Lubbock Police Department conducted an undercover online prostitution and sex trafficking operation where officers arrested five offenders at the local Red Roof Inn. During the operation, officers discovered two underage girls who were being sold for purposes of prostitution. Two offenders were arrested on charges of compelling prostitution, human trafficking, and aggravated promotion of prostitution and the remaining three offenders were arrested on charges of human trafficking and promotion of prostitution. Between 2007 and 2012, cases of sex trafficking were also reported in Lubbock. In addition, in the mid-2000s, a serial killer targeting prostituted women was active in the city.

To combat the demand for purchasing commercial sex, the Lubbock Police Department conducts both street-level and web-based reverse stings, in addition to officers routinely publicizing the names and identities of arrested sex buyers. In 2012, the Lubbock Police Department launched a concerted “shaming” effort by posting the names and photos of arrested sex buyers on the LPD’s official website. LPD officers also posted a group photo of the eight sex buyers arrested to the LPD’s Facebook page. A combined task force of local, state, and federal law enforcement inclusive of the Lubbock Police Department’s Special Operations Division, Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigation Division, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and Homeland Security Investigations conducted a two-day prostitution operation from August 31st through September 2nd, 2020, conducted an operation that led to the indictment of 15 individuals on prostitution related charges. According to reports, the sting took place at an assortment of local hotels and the majority of charges pertained to solicitation prostitution and prostitution, however other non-prostitution related violations were reported as well. While the statement given by Lubbock Police Department confirmed the identity and charges of those involved in the sting, details could not be given due to ongoing investigations being completed by the Special Operations Division. In December of 2020, the Lubbock Police Department’s Special Operations Division, Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigation Division and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted a two-day prostitution operation at a Lubbock hotel on Marsha Sharp Freeway, which resulted in the arrest of 13 male sex buyers. The photos and identifiers of the arrested sex buyers were included in news reports.

In January of 2021, the Lubbock Police Department’s Special Operations Division with the assistance of LPD Patrol, Texas Tech Police Department, Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted a two-day prostitution operation, resulting the arrest of 17 male sex buyers. In February of 2021, the Lubbock Police Department’s Special Operations Division, collaborating with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Amarillo Police Department, conducted a two-day prostitution operation resulting in the arrest of 16 male sex buyers on charges of soliciting prostitution, soliciting prostitution of a minor, amongst other offenses. The identities of the arrestees were released in news reports. In May of 2021, the Lubbock Police Department’s Special Operations Division conducted a prostitution operation that resulted in the arrest of  nine male sex buyers on charges of soliciting prostitution. The identities, ages, charges, and photos of arrestees were included in reports. No other information regarding the operation was included within the reports. In July, 2021, 11 male sex buyers were arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution amongst other offenses. Their photos and other identifying information were included in news releases.

Loss of employment is also a consequence of sex buying in the city. For example, in 2006 a former pastor was fired from his position at the Mt. Vernon Methodist Church after he was charged with compelling prostitution. The former pastor reportedly approached a 21-year-old woman last August while on a trip to Kenya and offered to bring her to the U.S. so she could attend college. According to reports, upon the woman’s arrival in Texas, the former pastor began demanding the her to engage in sex with him in exchange for financing her college education. According to officers, “He did not begin making demands until she was already here in Texas.” Investigations found that the pastor had falsified personal information to pass a background check before being hired as a pastor. Additionally, an International Student Assistance Fund was established at the First Baptist Church in Levelland to help the woman continue pursuing her nursing degree. The former pastor was arrested and charged with compelling prostitution and was held at the Hockley County Jail on a $150,000 bond at the time of reports. As a result of the investigation and subsequent arrest, the offender was immediately fried from his position at the church. Officials continued to investigate the former pastor throughout 2006 and by February of 2007, the former pastor faced over 40 felony charges including money laundering, fraud, and compelling prostitution.

Key Sources

Reverse Stings and Shaming:

Web-Based Reverse Stings:

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 253851
Location
Comments are closed.