MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

September 16, 2013

42 arrested following sex trafficking investigation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A total of 42 people have been arrested following a four-day investigation into sex trafficking in northeastern Oklahoma, state Bureau of Narcotics officials said Monday.

OBN’s Human Trafficking Unit launched the investigation after learning that individuals, including minors, were being forced into prostitution in Tulsa, Rogers, Ottawa and Delaware counties, agency spokesman Mark Woodward said in a statement.

“OBN worked from Sept. 10 to Sept. 13 in multiple cities and several different locations to target and arrest individuals engaged in prostitution,” Woodward said. “Follow-up interviews with the defendants were conducted to identify minors as well as adults forced into prostitution as the result of human trafficking.”

A total of 13 people were arrested for engaging in prostitution and 20 were arrested for soliciting. Seven people were arrested for pandering, one for aiding and abetting prostitution and one for possession of methamphetamine.

In addition, Woodward said three women were identified as victims of human trafficking and taken to a shelter. One of them is only 15 years old, he said.

Agents who executed a search warrant at a massage parlor in Bixby found illegal sexual activity and heroin. Officials are still investigating that case and no arrests have been made.

“OBN is committed to dismantling organizations involved in the seedy world of prostitution and ultimately human trafficking,” agency director Darrell Weaver said.

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