Stafford is a city of about 19,560 residents within the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area of Texas. The city is mostly in Fort Bend County, with a small portion in Harris County. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well documented problems within the county, including Stafford. Fort Bend County formed a human trafficking task force in 2013. In 2015-2016, fifteen teenagers brought in for being a runaway or for committing petty crimes were identified as trafficking victims in the county. In early 2016, a Fort Bend County jury sentenced a man to 40 years in prison following his conviction for human trafficking, and in October 2016, an Operation Cross Country enforcement action occurred throughout Fort Bend County.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response. To combat the array of problems stemming from commercial sex, local law enforcement agencies have conducted periodic reverse stings and disclosed the identities of arrested sex buyers. For example, a three day operation led by the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office in 2016 attacked both the supply and demand of juvenile prostitution and child exploitation in the Greater Houston area, including Fort Bend County, and included activity in Stafford. One man showed up at a local motel in Stafford with his one-year-old son after soliciting an undercover officer over the Internet, seeking to have sex with an 8-year-old child. The man also wanted the officer to engage in sexual intercourse with his 1-year-old son. After the suspect was arrested, that child plus a 6-year-old sibling was rescued from the man’s home and placed in state custody. Law enforcement officers from the Meadows Place Police Department, Missouri City Police Department, Stafford Police Department, Sugar Land Police Department, Katy Independent School District Police Department, Houston Police Department, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office and two task forces conducted the Fort Bend County operation.
an was arrested for promotion of prostitution and felony charges of sex trafficking of a minor in connection with a reverse prostition sting at a Stafford Hotel conducted by undercover detectives with the Houston Police Department. In the days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, a reverse sting sex trafficking investigation led to the arrest of a man after he allegedly posted online ads for prostitution featuring two undercover detectives, one of which the suspect reportedly believed to be 17 years-old, according to an arrest warrant. The suspect repoterly met with the two undercover detectives at a hotel in Stafford and recruited them to work as prostitutes for him at various clubs near Highway 290 over the Super Bowl weekend.