Local & Regional
Mon September 16, 2013
Human Trafficking Part of Major Drug Bust In Northeast Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics’ Human Trafficking Unit has concluded a 4-day operation focusing on organized sex trafficking in Tulsa, Rogers, Ottawa, and Delaware counties. Mark Woodward, Spokesman for OBN, says the agency initiated the investigation as the result of information about individuals, including minors, forced into prostitution.
Mark Woodward :“OBN worked from September 10th to September 13th in multiple cities and several different locations to target and arrest individuals engaged in prostitution. Follow-up interviews with the defendants were conducted to identify minors, as well as adults forced into prostitution as the result of human trafficking.”
Woodward says a total of 42 total arrests were made over the 4-day period.
- 13 individuals were arrested for prostitution.
- 120 individuals were arrested for soliciting prostitution.
- (Johns) Seven individuals were arrested for pandering
- (Pimps) One individual was arrested for aiding and abetting prostitution.
- (Transporter) One individual was arrested for possession of methamphetamine.
In addition, Woodward says three prostituted women were identified as victims of Human Trafficking and transported to a shelter facility. One of these victims is only 15 years old.
One search warrant was executed at a massage parlor in Bixby, Oklahoma resulting in the discovery of illegal sexual activity and heroin. Further investigation and arrests are pending as a result of this search warrant.
OBN frequently sees a nexus in the groups involved in drug trafficking and human trafficking. That was the driving factor in the creation of the OBN Human Trafficking Unit in 2012. OBN Director Darrell Weaver says the agency will aggressively target groups involved in human trafficking.
Darrell Weaver: “OBN is committed to dismantling organizations involved in the seedy world of prostitution and ultimately human trafficking. Our agency along with our law enforcement partners are determined to make a positive impact in a dark world that troubles the soul. Women that are used as a commodity sickens one’s heart.”
The OBN Human Trafficking Unit was assisted in this complex operation by agents and officer from the following agencies:
- Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, Diversion, and Legal teams
- Divisions Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Homeland Security Investigations
- Tulsa Police Department
- Rogers County Sheriff's Office
- Miami Police Department
- Grove Police Department
- Ottawa County Sheriff's Office
- Delaware County District Attorney's Office
- Quapaw Tribal Marshal's
- Eastern Shawnee Tribal Police
- Wyandotte Nation Tribal Police
- Cherokee County Sheriff's Office (Kansas)
- Newton County Sheriff's Office (Missouri)