FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Law enforcement in Tarrant County arrested 115 men in an operation aimed at slowing down sex trafficking.
Operation Buyer Beware was timed to take advantage of a new state law that went into effect Sept. 1, increasing the penalty for soliciting sex from a misdemeanor, to a felony.
Investigators posed online for Operation Buyer Beware, sometimes as children, to identify suspects.
The men ranged in age from their 20’s to their 70’s, and from all different walks of life according to Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn.
While the penalty is more significant, Sheriff Waybourn and representatives from other law enforcement agencies said the real focus is to remove demand that supports human trafficking for the sex trade.
“One of the main reasons that the cartels are involved in smuggling people across the border of Texas, into Texas and other parts of the United States is to fuel the sex trafficking industry,” said Hank Sibley, a regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Sibley said DPS is currently working with agencies across the state on similar operations.
Fort Worth Police, Arlington Police, Dept. of Homeland Security, and Tarrant County Constables were all involved in the operation locally over the last few weeks.