Out in The Colony, an Undercover Sting and a Sex-Trafficking Ring in an Unlikely Place

Categories: Crime

TheColony.png
lilywarrior
Lake Lewisville in The Colony.
The Colony has steadily moved up in the prestigious ranks of best DFW suburbs, and it's been designated as a "Playful City USA," which means the Humana Foundation thinks there are lots of playgrounds here. But the suburb's idyllic veneer was cracked this week when 14 johns, seven escorts and two underage escorts were arrested on Thursday at a seedy hotel there. Three others were arrested on drug-related charges.

Denton County Sheriff William Travis told Unfair Park the remote location was ideal for a trafficking ring of this size, and helped evade detection. "It's not ever concentrated up here in Denton County," he said. "A lot of these operations are usually conducted in Dallas County."

Of the johns, eight had entered the country illegally. Denton County Sheriff William Travis said that being a client of prostitutes will likely not lead to deportation. Two to four more arrests of associated pimps are expected in the next few days.

Two of the escorts were 17-year-olds and were referred to as "rescues." "We will try to work with them," Travis said. "We will do everything we can to get them out of the industry and get them the services they need to change career paths in life." Travis did not say that the girls were forced into prostitution, but they may have had a history of abuse that led to their voluntary involvement.

The raid was conducted by The Colony Police Department, the Denton County Sheriff's Office, and the US Department of Homeland Security. Travis cited months of undercover work and surveillance work before acting. The sheriff's office said the ultimate goal in the sting was to identify local underage exploited sex workers.

Lt. Darren Brockway said The Colony Police Department focused on the internet community in leading to the bust. And Travis said this is just one example of police departments looking to Craigslist and Backpage sex ads, and social media outlets, for their leads. "Most of the trafficking isn't on the street corner but [on] cyber streets," he told the Denton Record-Chronicle. "I hope this brings awareness to how rampant this issue is. ... We could click on an ad and the phones would be blowing up within minutes." (Backpage, an online classified site with offices in Dallas, used to be owned by the Observer's parent company.)

Travis said a bust of this magnitude send a strong message to local traffickers. "We will hunt you and we will track you down," he said, presumably speaking to would-be local traffickers rather than Unfair Park. "And we will make sure we do our best to get you out of that profession."


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18 comments
mindyourbiz
mindyourbiz

It was a sting (a la "to catch a predator" on NBC.  They were 'invited' to the hotel.


Apocalypse
Apocalypse

To those of you transplants, or those too young to know. The Colony was founded as a town because it had a giant Brothel. At the time it was out in the middle of nowhere, and once they built EDS, the Brothel's days were numbered as housing popped up and it became a town. So lets not be too surprised.

GAA187
GAA187

Legalize and tax prostitution already.  Jeez, squirrels need nuts.  

RPaggio
RPaggio

Hmm I wonder what might happen with a site like Rub Maps then?

lebowski300
lebowski300

Not to be all radical, but isn't "entering the country illegally" grounds for deportation?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Generally when I hear "rescues" I think of animals, so we are now comparing prostitutes to animals?

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

I want to know how one arrests drug related charges.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Ciudad juguetón.

Of the johns, eight had entered the country illegally... likely not lead to deportation...

Of course not.

wcvemail
wcvemail

First! I wonder if the first guy to answer the ads also claimed First!

mindyourbiz
mindyourbiz

@Apocalypse The housing in The Colony was started long before EDS built in Plano.  Most of the actual brothels were in Frisco along 121 (Michelle's Ranch, 121 Tub Club, etc plus Wrangler's in Lewisville).  There was a building in what is now The Colony rumored to have been a flophouse for the working girls, but not a brothel.  And that was torn down 20 years ago - so no, let's BE surprised.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@lebowski300

Not to be all radical, but isn't "entering the country illegally" grounds for deportation?

No, entering the country illegally is grounds for citizenship.

Koobie
Koobie

@TheRuddSki If you are an American travelling in another country or living in another country illegally and you are caught doing something illegal, you will not be deported - you will be put in that country's jail/prison. It's like that all over the world for citizens of all countries. 

Threeboys
Threeboys

Now why in the world would we deport someone already here illegally, who was caught perpetrating a crime?

More likely, he will get his DNC membership card.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@wcevemail

My bet is they were far from being the first...

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Threeboys

All these guys have to do is pick out their "nieces" at the refugee camp. No photo ID required.

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