The FBI announced the takedown of sex for sale enterprises in a nationwide sting. It's part of the agency's effort to shut down pimps and their lucrative sex trade business.
Last week, legions of law enforcement swept the country, including Dallas-Fort Worth, in a sex trafficking crackdown as part of Operation Cross Country. They fanned out nationwide to rescue girls and young women from sex trafficking and round up their traffickers.
Eighty-four people were pulled out of prostitution and 120 pimps were put behind bars.
Eight people named in a federal complaint were arrested as part of the sting in Fort Worth: Pierre "Pedro" Lagrone, Robert "King Rose" Roseberry, Herman "Pooh" Sanders, Reginald "Green Light" Smith, Demarcus "Zigg" Davis, Kentrell "Zeal" Davis, Cederrick "Spazz" Clarkson and Terroderick "Silk" Watts.
The 24-page affidavit says the men sold five juveniles and two adult women for commercial sex at $100 for a half hour. They were recruited through Facebook and Instagram. One woman told police she was regularly beaten if she made her pimp angry or didn't follow his directions.
"These predators are on social media speaking to their potential victims," said Dallas FBI Special Agent Deborah Michaels. "They are convincing them that they can make money for them, get them into the modeling industry or basically they love them."
Backpage.com is where nude or almost nude photos of the women were placed in ads for sex
Promise House has opened what it calls a drop-in center for those caught up in the sex trade.
"It's a low barrier facility where they can come and get their essential needs met," explained Keri Stitt with the organization.
It's a place where they can come for hygiene needs and help. Leatrice Hudson is the onsight case manager who "low-key" works to win their confidence.
"That way, they want to come back," she said. "And they'll say, ‘Okay, I can talk to her. She's cool.'"
Working to change lives, the FBI is leading the fight to try and save the youth and hold the exploiters accountable.
The men are charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. Each man had their bond set at $250,000.