MIDLOTHIAN – The Midlothian Police Department was one of only two Ellis County law enforcement agencies brought in by the US Department of Homeland Security last month to be involved in a sting that saw the arrest of 134 people involved in human trafficking in the area.
Midlothian Assistant Police Chief Scott Brown said the department was involved because Midlothian has an Investigator assigned full-time to the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) North Texas Trafficking Task Force.
“Our Investigator on the Task Force was a part of the operation from its inception, Brown explained. “Midlothian PD was one of 14 agencies that participated across the metroplex. Our Investigators – including our Investigator permanently assigned to the HSI Taskforce and other detectives from our Criminal Investigations Division – worked with Federal Agents at all the locations throughout the metroplex.”
Officers from the MPD Problem Directed Response Team (PDRT) and the MPD Patrol Warrant Team assisted with the local operation. They handled detainees’ takedown, arrest, and transport and provided perimeter security. Brown said those from the Midlothian PD also provided a uniformed, marked vehicle presence in the event a car associated with the operation needed to be stopped away from the sting location.
Brown also confirmed no one from Midlothian was arrested in the sting operation.
The operation began on September 11, 2023, and Brown said the first few days of the Human Trafficking/Commercial Sex Joint Demand Suppression Operation took place at various locations in the northern and central parts of the DFW metro area. The Midlothian part of the operation was conducted on September 15.
By now, most people are aware that operations were specific to North Dallas (Richardson/Plano area), Tarrant County, near DFW Airport, and in South DFW (Midlothian) and took down 134 confirmed human traffickers, which included a nurse at a major medical network in Dallas, four people with access to secure areas of DFW Airport, four non-citizens and one prominent DFW city employee.
Brown said he was not at liberty to reveal any names of those arrested, and the US Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
In addition to having a permanent investigator with DHS assigned to the task force, Brown said, “Midlothian was also selected based on geography as a southern location.”
Other agencies involved in the operation included the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department, Arlington PD, the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department, the Haltom City Police Department, the Richland Hills Police Department, and the Texas National Guard, to name a few.
The operation was conducted in the four DFW cities over five days.
“Midlothian Police Department is a proud participant in the pro-active investigation of Human Trafficking in North Texas,” concluded Midlothian Police Chief Carl Smith. “We value the effort and mission of the North Texas Trafficking Task Force as well as the partnership with Homeland Security Investigations. The NTTTF brings tremendous resources to our region to combat Human Trafficking Organizations and provide restorative resources to victims of human trafficking.”
HSI encourages the public to report suspected sex trafficking through its toll-free tip line at 866-347-2423. Investigators staff the tip line around the clock. From outside the United States and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.