Mercedes, TX

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

Mercedes is a city of approximately 17,000 residents in Hidalgo County, Southern Texas. Mercedes sits across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, Mexico. The city is part of the greater  McAllen–Edinburg–Mission and Reynosa–McAllen metropolitan area. Local law enforcement agencies have reported problems with prostitution in the community and surrounding areas for years, dating back to the 1970s. Residents and business owners have complained about commercial sex in some neighborhoods, including the sex trafficking of children.

Efforts to address these issues have included demand reduction tactics such as web-based reverse stings. For example, in 2016, a Mercedes resident was charged with prostitution, a Class B misdemeanor; he was one of 11 men arrested for seeking to buy sex. In February 2021, two men from Mercedes were charged with prostitution, online solicitation of a minor, and engaging in organized criminal activity. Officers from the Mercedes Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division arrested the two men and were searching for a third suspect involved in the case. The identities of the arrested men were publicized.

Key Partners

State Texas
Type City
Population 16561
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