Lubbock, TX

Tactics Used

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

Lubbock is a city of approximately 250,000 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 2013, five people were arrested for compelling prostitution and human trafficking. The Lubbock Police Department conducted an online prostitution sting at a local hotel, and during the arrest officers discovered a juvenile female was being commercially exploited for sexual abuse. Another sting was conducted and more arrests were made, and another juvenile female victim was recovered.  The five arrested all face charges of compelling prostitution, human trafficking, and aggravated promotion of prostitution.  Other cases of sex trafficking have also been reported in Lubbock between 2007 and 2012.  A serial killer of prostituted women was also active in the city in the mid-2000s.

To combat consumer demand for commercial sex, the Lubbock Police Department conducts both street-level and web-based reverse stings. Officers also routinely publicize 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 johns on the LPD’s official website. LPD officers also posted a group photo of the eight johns arrested to the LPD’s Facebook page.  As prostitution is a Class B Misdemeanor in Texas, arrestees in Lubbock face up to a 180-day jail sentence, and fines up to $2,000.

On September 2, 2020 a combined task force of local, state, and federal law enforcement conducted an operation that led to the indictment of 15 individuals on charges related to prostitution. According to reports, the sting took place at an assortment of local hotels over the course of two days. A majority of the charges pertained to the solicitation of prostitution, however there were an assortment of other violations 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, 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 13 arrests.  The photos and identifiers of the arrested sex buyers were included in news reports.

In January, 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 in 17 arrests.  In February, 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 20 arrests for prostitution, soliciting prostitution, soliciting prostitution of a minor and other offenses. The identities of the arrestees were released in news reports.

Key Partners

Key Sources

State Texas
Type City
Population 253851
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