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Dallas Sex Crime Arrests and Possible Criminal Charges against the Dallas Vice Unit

Texas has more human trafficking cases than any other state in the union except for California, and most of this is sex trafficking.  Texas being Number Two in the USA isn’t news to those involved in the criminal justice system here in North Texas.  It’s been this way for several years now.  In fact, the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition reports that our Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex ranks as 2nd in Texas for reported trafficking cases.

So, our neck of the woods is second in the state that is second in the country for prostitution and other sex crimes involving sex trafficking cases. 

In addition to the Denton group, there are other local organizations dedicated to fighting against sex trafficking (as well as other forms of human trafficking) here in our area.  There’s also the North Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking (NTCAHT), for instance, and Refuge City over in Richardson.  These are victims’ groups that work together with various law enforcement agencies here in our region.

You’ve probably heard something about the evils of human trafficking recently either in the news or in social media, given that January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  It’s an annual public awareness campaign involving these groups, among others, designed to bring greater focus on the epidemic of crimes where “… one person is controlled through violence, deception or coercion in situations of commercial sex, forced labor, or domestic servitude” (the definition given to “human trafficking” by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin).

 

Texas Police Department Vice Units and Human Trafficking

From a criminal justice system standpoint, human sex trafficking involves sex crimes.  It’s something that is within the purview of the local police department’s vice squad.

In fact, down in Austin, their police department organization has named their unit the “Human Trafficking and Vice Unit,” to make things clear.  According to the Austin Police Department web site, their Vice Unit “… enforces organized gambling, organized prostitution, and pornography-related state laws and city ordinances.  The unit also investigates cases related to the trafficking of persons, for the purpose of sexual or labor exploitation. The unit works closely with members of the Central Texas Federal Law Enforcement Task Force to combat human trafficking.”

Houston has a similar set-up.  The Houston Police Department’s Vice Division has “General Vice Unit” and a special “Human Trafficking Unit” as part of its organizational structure.

What is Vice, Anyway?

So, what is “vice” from a law enforcement agency standpoint?  It’s the part of the police department (or state / federal agency) that goes after crimes that have some kind of immorality characterization according to accepted societal norms.  Things like illegal gambling, prostitution, and pornography come under the parameters of the local vice officers.

In Fort Worth Police Department, the Vice Unit “… conducts in-depth criminal investigations of any vice related crimes, which to include On-Line Solicitation of a Child, electronic file sharing of child pornography, organized gambling operations, prostitution based escort services and massage parlors.”

And since so much Human Trafficking in Texas involves the sex industry here, it makes sense that the Vice Unit of Texas Police Departments would be assigned the duties of investigating and arresting people for alleged violations of assorted sex crimes (as well as illegal gambling).

So, if there is an investigation involving any kind of sex crime here in North Texas, then you can expect the local police department’s vice officers to be involved in the investigation and arrest of those individuals. 

This brings us to the Dallas Police Department.

A few days ago, Fox4News ran a story about an internal Dallas Police Department memorandum that provided details on why the Dallas Police Department’s Vice Squad was disbanded.  See, “Dallas PD Memo sheds light on disbanded vice unit,” written by Fox4News.com staff and published on January 25, 2018.

We’ve already discussed how the new Dallas Police Chief came on board and gutted the Vice Squad.  Officially, it was “disbanded.”  See, Wham, Bam: What’s Going On With the Dallas Police Department?

There is No Vice Unit in Dallas Police Department

Well, the Fox4News story doesn’t provide the full 7-page memo in its story.  The report just gives the highlights of what the internal DPD memo contains.  And it seems to be all about money.

And the possibility of “criminal allegations” which were not explained. 

In its coverage, there is an interview with a retired DPD vice detective, who wasn’t a part of the DPD Vice Unit while it was being investigated.  According to this guy, the public “disbanding” of the entire Vice Unit is allowing lots of vice crimes to occur here in the Dallas area. He asks us to think of rats during a garbage strike.  Read all that he has to say here.

Sex Crime Arrests in Dallas

It’s true that there is no Vice Unit in the Dallas Police Department today.  None.  That doesn’t mean that there are not active federal investigations within the Dallas city limits.  It doesn’t mean that state agencies (like the Texas Rangers, for instance) aren’t investigating things like prostitution rings or online pornography here.

The Dallas Police Department’s Vice Unit was only one of several law enforcement organizations that are policing the City of Dallas for sex crimes and human sex trafficking.

So, there are still going to be arrests around here for sex crimes. 

But the disbanding of that entire division of the local police department and this recent expose about the internal memo’s reference to “criminal allegations” does suggest that there may be some time before we see the city’s police department de-booting its Vice Unit.

This means that there are fewer law enforcement officers out there in Dallas right now working to arrest people for things like prostitution, sex trafficking, pornography, and other sex crimes.  That’s the reality today.

Criminal Charges against Dallas Vice Officers?  There’s Precedent.

It also means that there may be charges brought against former members of the Dallas Police Department’s Vice Unit.  Maybe.  No one knows right now.  We’ve just got hints from those who have read this internal memo.

But there is precedent.  It hasn’t been all that long since the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas issued its release discussing the conviction after a federal jury trial of former Dallas Police Department detective Jose Luis Bedoy, who worked in the Dallas Vice Unit for around six years before he was busted.

According to the prosecution’s version of events in the release, ex-officer Bedoy met a female prostitute during a raid and later “… a relationship ensued between the two”  with Bedoy “explaining how to screen her clients to avoid being arrested.”

For media details, read “Ex-Dallas Cop Who Traded Hooker Info For Sex Gets 18 Months for Obstruction,” written by Stephen Young and published by the Dallas Observer on April 15, 2015.

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For more information, check out our web resources, read Michael Lowe’s Case Results, and read his in-depth articles,” Pre-Arrest Criminal Investigations”  and “Texas Sex Offender Deregistration Synopsis: Overview And Steps For Name Removal.”


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