Texarkana, TX

Tactics Used

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

Texarkana is a city in Texas with a population of approximately 36,000.  Prostitution has a long history in the city, spanning roughly 200 years.  In contemporary times, it has been identified by law enforcement as generating numerous problems in the city, and residents have complained to police about prostitution in certain neighborhoods.  Local sex trafficking has also been documented, and cases in the city have been reported to the national human trafficking hotline.  For example, in January 2014 a man was arrested for trying to buy sex from a 15-year-old girl, and asking for the girl’s 7-year-old sibling to also be present. In 2018, a man pleaded guilty in a Bowie County court to promoting prostitution for attempting to buy sex from a 14 year old boy in Texarkana.  In July 2019 a woman accused of arranging the sexual exploitation of a young relative for money more than two decades ago was indicted by a Bowie County grand jury on four counts of sexual assault of a child and a single count of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

In response to such concerns, local police have used tactics that have included those focusing on the demand for commercial sex.  For example, the Texarkana Police Department has conducted at least two street-level reverse stings since 2007, and released the identities of the arrestees. In 2012, a sex buyer was arrested in Texarkana, after responding to a call from the man who claimed he had been robbed at gunpoint. Investigators determined that story was a fabrication, made to cover up his involvement in purchasing prostitution.

In a more recent sting operation, the Texas Department of Public Safety used web-based tactics to arrest two men for attempting to engage in sex with a minor. The names of both men were released to the public in addition to a quote from one of the offenders. The article outlining the operation went into detail pertaining to the specifics of the web-based sting. For example, according to reporters, prior to their arrests, both men had sent photos of themselves and the promised money to the undercover agent.

Key Partners

  • Texarkana Police Department
  • Texas Department of Public Safety

Key Sources

State Texas
Type City
Population 36131
Location
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