Texarkana, 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

Texarkana is a “twin city” straddling Texas and Arkansas state lines. The population of Texas residents of Texarkana in Bowie County is approximately 36,700. 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 street-level reverse stings since 2007, and publicly released the identities of the arrested sex buyers. In October, 2021, four men were arrested on North Cowhorn Creek Loop and charged with solicitation of prostitution, and their identities included in press releases. The Texas Department of Public Safety has used web-based tactics to arrest two men for attempting to engage in sex with a minor in Texarkana. 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.

Police in Texarkana have also made arrests of sex buyers that did not involve proactive reverse sting operations.  For example, 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 August of 2017, a former Texarkana, TX, Independent School District security guard was charged with promoting prostitution. According to a probable cause affidavit, a 42-year-old man was accused of offering to pay a 14-year-old boy for sex. The victim’s mother went to the Texarkana Police Department to make a report in July, 2017, and described the exploiter as a family friend. Investigators arranged for the boy to be interviewed at the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center by a forensic interviewer. According to the affidavit, the offender’s alleged solicitation of the boy occurred in Texarkana. The offender’s identity, image, age, location, and charge were included in reports from local news sources.

In May, 2022, eight men were arrested in an undercover sting operation targeting prostitution. Each of the men allegedly thought he was negotiating sex for money with a person engaged in prostitution. However, they actually were text messaging with an undercover officer, according to probable cause affidavits. All of the men arrested May 10-11 were charged with felonies. Until Sept. 1, 2021, solicitation of prostitution was a Class B misdemeanor. Thereafter the offense was upped to a felony punishable by six months to two years in a state jail. The change in the law is an effort by Texas legislators to combat human trafficking. Three of the men were charged with online solicitation of a minor and face two to 10 years in prison if convicted.  For example, one man allegedly agreed to pay $100 for sex with a minor. When he arrived at a meeting location, he was arrested for online solicitation of a minor, and also was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and misdemeanor possession of drugs.

Key Partners

  • Texarkana Police Department
  • Texas Department of Public Safety

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Web-based Reverse Stings 

Arrest of Sex Buyer; Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Texas
Type City
Population 36688
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