Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Prostitution/law enforcement follies

A couple of stories about law enforcement in Texas allegedly protecting prostitution lately caught Grits eye:

First, a major prostitution bust in San Antonio in 2007 "fizzled amid allegations from some who alleged the FBI interfered with the SAPD probe, and that [the main target Samuel] Flores was protected because he cooperated with the FBI on unrelated investigations," the SA Express-News' Guillermo Contreras reported last week. Mr. Flores "was nabbed [last] week in Austin on an indictment alleging he was dealing methamphetamine in San Antonio. He was denied bond during a hearing in Austin on Thursday, and ordered transferred to San Antonio for trial. "

Wrote Contreras, "The FBI and U.S. attorney's office denied the allegations, but nonetheless, the matter bruised feelings between the FBI and SAPD and resulted in an internal affairs investigation by the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility," the results of which were never released.

Meanwhile, in Dallas vice squad Detective Jose Luis Bedoy has been indicted on federal charges for tipping off a prostitute with whom he was engaged in intimate relations about upcoming Dallas PD stings, giving her tips on how to avoid arrest, Tanya Eiserer at the Dallas News reported. “Authorities allege that the relationship lasted for years and during the entire time Bedoy provided 'law enforcement-sensitive information to her about DPD Vice Unit prostitution raids and other enforcement actions.'”

Both stories hint at larger, big-picture issues. The latter reminds me of a study out of Chicago that found 3% of tricks by prostitutes operating without pimps were "freebies given to police" in exchange for protection. The former reminds us of the pitfalls of police reliance on criminals as confidential informants, who frequently go on to commit as many crimes as they help police solve, but under the de facto protection of law enforcement.

In an era when HBO has turned a legal Nevada brothel into a popular reality TV series, Grits has to wonder whether, when it comes to keeping the "oldest profession" illegal, the juice really is worth the squeeze. Many of the worst negative consequences - including human trafficking, exploitation by pimps, and law enforcement corruption - primarily result from delivering services through a black market.

8 comments:

An Attorney said...

If the enforcement focus was on the johns, and they were prosecuted to the fullest extent, including use of forfeiture for the vehicles used to solicit, with publicity, it would go a long way to eliminate the street level prostitution. I watched a guy in a new Escalade stop a woman on the street across from my office and negotiate a deal, whence she went around and got in the car. This was at 1:30 in the afternoon. Twenty minutes later, she was dropped off back at the same location, and was stuffing money in her shoulder bag.

Here, the johns get sent to john school to be told about disease, etc. and otherwise seem to have no consequences or publicity.

John David Galt said...

There's an awful lot of hooey going around about that business. You might want to follow this blog, whether you're for or against.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous An Attorney said.

Would you rather have had her perform in front of you so you could get a free show? You have no idea what my mother was doing for that guy that happen to be my father. It keeps their love life spiced up to role play. Mind your own business pervert.

Jeremy L said...

There is no question that prostitution should be legalized and regulated. In addition to the reasons posted in this blog legal prostitutes will be required to pay taxes, contributing to society economically.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy L.
Is there ANYTHING the government shouldn't "regulate?" They have their noses in all sorts of places they shouldn't be now!
And for "An Attorney".. Yes, let's punish the "John's" and let the law enforcement agencies confiscate those nice cars. Then they can impoverish the families of the offender by taking everything else he has! Unless of course he is a government official. Then the offense just disappears...

BarkGrowlBite said...

"Many of the worst negative consequences - including human trafficking, exploitation by pimps, and law enforcement corruption - primarily result from delivering services through a black market."

That argument is very similar to the argument against the War on Drugs.

While I believe the War on Drugs is not the failure its critics claim, I do believe that we could legalize prostitution without necessarily exacerbating public safety or public health problems.

Charles Flaum said...

It keeps their love life spiced up to role play. Mind your own business pervert.Art Lighting

Anonymous said...

I thought we supported prostitution.