HCSO Leads National ‘Johns’ Sting Operation with 114 Arrests

user31342-1422978838-media3_8c8477_192_240_PrsMe_ user31342-1422978837-media2_f4dfcc_192_240_PrsMe_ user31342-1422978835-media1_6b6a65_192_240_PrsMe_The Harris County Sheriff’s Office led a national multi-agency sting operation targeting would-be sex buyers or “johns” making 114 of the 570 arrests across the country.
The ninth “National Day of Johns Arrests” ran for approximately two weeks, from Jan. 15 through Feb. 1, 2015. The sting brought together 37 law enforcement agencies throughout 17 states in a widespread crackdown on the demand for purchased sex.
In total, HCSO deputies arrested 100 “johns” and 14 prostitutes. Among the HCSO’s most notable arrests were:
Steven Spoon, a reserve deputy with the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office;
Jerry White, a firefighter with the Houston Fire Department; and Tommy Austad, a chief inspector with Harris County Public Infrastructure
Their photos are attached.
The operation also targeted pimps and traffickers who have forced victims into lives of prostitution.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office-led national coalition of nearly 70 jurisdictions has grown rapidly since 2011, emerging as the largest and most successful reverse prostitution operation. The campaign has evolved to highlight the role of classified ad site Backpage.com as a conduit for the sex trade – 64% of the “johns” ended up in handcuffs after answering what they thought were online ads for prostitution on Backpage. Additionally, 7% of the johns responded to fake ads on Craigslist.
Across nine operations over a four-year stretch, the collaborative effort has led to the arrests of more than 2,900 total “johns.”
Cumulative numbers from the ninth “National Day of Johns Arrests” campaign are as follows:
• 23 sex trafficking/pimping arrests
• 570 sex solicitation arrests
o $341,330 in minimum fines
o 408 “johns” arrested as a result of fake Backpage.com ads
o 40 “johns” arrested as a result of fake Craigslist ads
o 221 cars towed/forfeited from “johns”
o 18 weapons seized from “johns”
o 4 narcotics charges for “johns”
• 83 victims recovered
o 54 adults
o 29 juveniles

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