DRB MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS DIGITAL NEWS (030918) – OPERATION GAUNTLET

ODESSA, TEXAS/MARCH 9, 2018 – THE ODESSA POLICE DEPARTMENT RECENTLY PARTICIPATED IN A JOINT PROSTITUTION-HUMAN TRAFFICING STING OPERATION AND ANNOUNCED THE ARRESTS OF 63 PERSONS IN OPERATION GAUNTLET. THIS STING OPERATION WAS AN EFFORT IN CONJUCTION WITH THE FBI AND VARIOUS LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, AS WELL AS OTHER AGENCIES FROM THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY.

(CAPTAIN JAIME RAMOS, DISTRICT COMMANDER, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION, MIDLAND DISTRICT)

“THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS. OF THE PERMIAN BASIN AND THE SURRONDING COMMUNITIES—WE HEARD YOU, AND WE HEAR YOU. WE STEPPED UP EFFORTS TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICING.”

THIS STING OPERATION THAT LASTED 15 DAYS AND THE ARRESTS CONSISTED OF APPROXIMATLEY  18 FELONY CHARGES AND 50 MISDEMEANOR CHARGES. UNDERCOVER CHATTERS POSTED ADS ON POPULAR ONLINE CLASSIFIED WEBSITES AND CONDUCTED UNDERCOVER TEXTING AND PHONE CALLS POSING AS A 13 AND A 16-YEAR-OLD FEMALE. THE AVERAGE AGE OF EACH DEFENDANT WAS 29.5 YEARS-OF-AGE.

(CHIEF MICHAEL GERKE, ODESSA POLICE DEPARTMENT)

“WE’VE HAD TO BECOME MORE TECH SAAVY. YOU KNOW, IN DAYS OF OLD, YOU WOULD SET UP STINGS ON THE STREET. AND THAT JUST DOESN’T FULLY WORK ANYMORE, TO GET THE REAL PLAYERS IN THIS, YOU HAVE TO SET UP THOSE ONLINE STINGS.”

(CHIEF MICHAEL GERKE, ODESSA POLICE DEPARTMENT)

SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS ARE USED BY SEXUAL PREDITORS. IT IS EXTREMLY IMPORTANT THAT PARENTS STAY INVOLVED IN THEIR CHILDREN’S LIVES AND MONITOR THEIR KID’S SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES.

“YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE DOING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLES. PARENTS HAVE TO DRAW THAT FINE LINE – WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE PRIVACY AND WHAT IS JUST GOOD PARENTING.”

SPECIAL AGENTS AND OFFICERS ALSO CONDUCTED A SEARCH WARRANT AT LUCKY SPA MASSAGE PARLOR AFTER AN UNDERCOVER OFFICER WAS SOLICITED FOR SEXUAL CONDUCT. THE ODESSA POLICE DEPARTMENT AND OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WILL CONTINUE WITH PROSTITUTION AND HUMAN TRAFFICING STING OPERATIONS.

FOR DRB MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS DIGITAL NEWS, DANNY BARRERA.

Posted in NEWS   

Author: Danny Barrera