Massive Bust of Sex Buyers and Traffickers During Super Bowl Weekend
COOK COUNTY, Ill. – During Super Bowl weekend 522 would-be sex buyers or sex traffickers were arrested across the United States, reported NBC4 Columbus.
The arrests follow a massive sting operation. It involved 23 law enforcement agencies in 14 states. The undertaking was known as the National Johns Suppression Initiative. It launched three weeks ago and culminated on Super Bowl Sunday.
Sex buyers invite sex traffickers
“Sex trafficking continues to destroy countless lives, and this broad national movement should send a strong message to prospective johns that their ‘hobby’ is much more than a ‘victimless’ crime,” said Illinois Sheriff Thomas J. Dart in a press release.
“It’s particularly meaningful that this sting culminated on the day of the Super Bowl, which unfortunately has emerged as a prominent haven for sex trafficking.”
NBC4 Columbus provided a bulletin board of arrestees
522 'johns,' 30 pimps arrested in Super Bowl sex trafficking sting https://t.co/KtzXeo3zPx
— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) February 12, 2017
Human trafficking victims rescued
During the operation police were happy to announce the rescue of 73 adult human trafficking victims and 3 juvenile victims. The city of Houston hosted the Super Bowl this year. They arrested 183 “johns,” or potential buyers, and 9 sex traffickers were corralled in the Texas locale.
Related story: SEX TRAFFICKING ARRESTS MADE IN SANTA ANA
The arrests included people from a variety of professions. There were two firefighters, a retired police officer, and a Houston city employee among those taken into custody.
In Seattle, police arrested a john who recently escaped from jail. They also arrested a registered sex offender who tried to convince the undercover detective into working as a prostitute for him.
The participating agencies across the nation have arrested more than 6,500 sex buyers and traffickers since the operations began back in 2011.
One man who was arrested had his 4-year-old child with him while he tried to purchase sex. You can view 178 booking photos here.
“I’m exceedingly proud to lead the nation in targeting sex buyers and traffickers during this annual initiative,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a press conference.
“Houston was home to Super Bowl LI. As we welcomed the world to our city, we made it clear that there is no place for victimization and sexual exploitation.”
It is not a victimless crime
Estimates suggest there are more than 20 million human trafficking victims worldwide. Where there is a market, there is a demand. People generally believe the sex industry is a victimless crime. But there are countless stories of personal tragedy by willing participants and those forced into the sex-slave trade. Sadly, sex traffickers are among us since sex buyers are willing to pay for pleasure. And it’s often at the expense of a person that is trapped in a regrettable lifestyle.