On Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reported that 13 suspects were arrested by federal agents in connection with an alleged sex trafficking ring in Houston, Texas, that prostituted underage, undocumented girls from Mexico. Fox News said that multiple agencies, including the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff's Department were involved. But David Allen, a local area street preacher and activist known for blowing the shofar, questioned the timing of the raid, coming so close as it does to a mayoral election to take place in November.
According to documents Allen provided to Examiner.com, local agencies have apparently done little to nothing about the issue for years, despite being provided evidence.
The Harris County Sheriff's Department, for example, responded to Allen's Texas Public Information Act request by saying their office "is not required to answer factual questions."
"Please know that we are closing our file in this matter," the department said.
The Houston Police Department was a little more forthcoming, telling Allen they have no cases involving "sex slave" trafficking.
Allen asked both departments to provide information detailing arrests or prosecution of any cases involving underage girls in the child sex trade in Houston.
In a notarized affidavit provided by Allen, former Harris County District Attorney Pat Lycos reportedly admitted that from January 2009 to January 2013, her office had not prosecuted a single case dealing with child sex trafficking, although the city did send cease and desist notices to over 100 adult businesses in 2007.
Federal agencies have taken action in Houston, but Allen says local authorities have been unwilling to tackle the problem and to an extent, are part of the problem.
But Allen says the event, along with this week's arrest, was little more than an election-year stunt intended to take focus off the city's record regarding child sex trafficking.
In May, for example, four Houston firefighters died fighting a fire at a motel, a location Allen says the city allowed to operate in violation of city fire codes. While the media reported the fire, Allen says the media did not mention that the building was used in the local child sex trade. That fire, Allen said, followed the discovery of another major child trafficking base known as "The Hideaway."
Worse yet, he alleges girls at both locations were provided condoms that came from a nearby Planned Parenthood facility Mayor Parker opened.
At least some of those condoms, he said, were delivered by one Cat French, founder and director of Elijah Rising, an organization dedicated to "ending human trafficking by equipping a new breed of justice warrior for prayer, awareness and intervention in the spirit of Isaiah 1:17."
French denied distributing condoms, but seemed to indicate otherwise during an Internet radio interview last November.
"At one point, you were actually handing out the condoms" with a phone number to the rescue operation, the program moderator said.
"Right," French said, explaining that she doesn't hand out cards with the number.
"But we do hide the number. We print tubes of chapstick" with the number, she added, explaining that another good place to hide the number is on condom packages.
"Not by any stretch of the imagination are we a condom distribution agency," she said. "We are trying to hide the rescue number in a place that is most likely to be used and most likely not to get the woman beaten."
French said when she piloted the program, she wanted to get them free because she was unsure if the technique worked. So, she said, she got a package from Planned Parenthood. On Thursday, however, she added the caveat "for mass distribution."
"I do not remember obtaining condoms from Planned Parenthood for mass distribution under our rescue operation," she said Thursday.
At one point, Allen says local police abused him, throwing him in a stifling hot police car until he suffered severe heat stroke.
He later provided evidence to Mayor Parker at an open council meeting, he said, after it became clear local authorities would do nothing. Allen also told Examiner federal authorities with the Department of Homeland Security dismissed his concerns after speaking with him.
Allen's website, hornofsamuel.org, contains a number of videos he says documents many of his allegations. Some also show local police working with Planned Parenthood while apparently ignoring or dismissing allegations of violence reportedly perpetrated by PP personnel. These activities, Allen says, are being done with Mayor Parker's full knowledge and blessing.
Houston is generally recognized as one of the major hubs for child sex trafficking in the country.
"Houston has the unwanted reputation for being a hotbed for human trafficking," Texas State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, said in an op-ed at the Houston Chronicle.
According to Huffman, nearly 10 percent of all calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center come from Texas and a majority of those come from Houston.
From Allen's perspective, the reason for that currently sits in the mayor's office.
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