On occasions, Texas police carry out high-profile prostitution stings. As well as prostitutes, their customers, known as “Johns.” are usually charged and their faces splashed over the local media.
Recently, a prostitution sting was carried out in the Waco area. The weekend-long operation led to the arrests of 15 men and two women, reported the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Often these operations involve police luring suspects. In Waco, the street crimes unit used online surveillance and arranged meetings with suspects who answered online ads seeking sex for money.
Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton of Waco Police said police officers met suspects at local hotels and arrested them.
They were charged with Class B misdemeanor charges of prostitution or other criminal offenses linked to the sting.
Prostitution stings of this nature are nothing new in Waco. Swanton told the media:
“Our Waco street crimes unit conducted a sting like we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future. Officers ran online ads and people would respond to that, thinking they were coming to meet a prostitute for sex, but instead they’d meet Waco PD.”
Police said the 15 men arrested in the sting were considered to be johns.
They were allegedly planning to pay for sex. Police said the two women arrested in the prostitution sting were most likely being trafficked themselves and would receive the help of sex-trafficking victim services.
The men were arrested on prostitution charges. One was hit with an additional drug charge.
Although police regularly carry out sting operations of this nature, these kinds of roundups can border on entrapment.
We discuss entrapment on our website. Typically, if police provide more than an opportunity and there is an element of coercion, a defense of entrapment may be possible.
Operations like prostitution stings seldom become entrapment. The courts will usually say that the defendant in the sting operation is simply doing that which he or she was already predisposed to do and the police merely provided an opportunity.
If your mug shot has appeared as part of a prostitution sting, it can be highly embarrassing and lead to family breakups or the loss of your job. It’s vital to hire a vigorous Texas defense team which can fight these allegations. Please contact the Medlin Law Firm today for a free and confidential case evaluation.