Two local men were among a group of 21 arrested recently in an anti-human trafficking operation spearheaded by the Beaumont Police Department and Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.
The agencies teamed up and ran a two-day, joint, anti-human trafficking operation targeting sex buyers.
The two-day operation led to the arrest of 21 males that solicited sexual relations from minors and adults.
Phillip Ray, 65, of Port Neches was arrested for prostitution – Class A Misdemeanor with a $3,000 bond. He is still in Jefferson County Jail.
Edward Jimenez, 31, of Port Arthur was arrested for prostitution – Class A Misdemeanor. He is still in Jefferson County Jail.
Additional charges are expected once the investigations are complete.
“We would like to give a special thank you to Collective Liberty and McLennan County Sheriff’s Office for their help and technical assistance on this operation,” a Beaumont Police statement read Saturday night.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery – the exploitation of men, women and children for forced labor or sex by a third party for profit or gain. A person doesn’t have to be transported across borders for trafficking to take place, it can occur anywhere.”
Police said sex trafficking is fueled by the demand that these buyers provide. “Without men who are willing to purchase sex, traffickers and pimps would not exploit victims, many of who are children, and force them into a life of prostitution,” Beaumont Police said. “The purpose of this operation was to reduce demand and deter people from buying sex.”
Anyone can join the fight against human trafficking. If you see something, say something. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Southeast Texas Crime Stoppers or download the P3 Tips app and use your smartphone or tablet submit your information or pictures. All tips are anonymous and you could be eligible for a cash reward.