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Texas Cops Undress to Catch Prostitution


Associated Press


HOUSTON (AP) -- Some suspects in prostitution investigations are confronting naked justice. A prosecutor says police are now allowed to undress in an effort to persuade suspected prostitutes to negotiate sex acts.

During a four-month sting operation that ended with 56 arrests in November, some undercover vice officers dropped their covers altogether.

"Someone had to do something to shut these places down," said Harris County Assistant District Attorney Ted Wilson. "It was just so widespread. It had almost gotten in your face."

Wilson said Police Chief Harold Hurtt has changed a long-standing, unwritten department policy to allow undercover vice officers to disrobe in such cases.

But Hurtt and other Houston police officials declined to discuss the new policy.

"I'm not going to comment about the strategies and tactics that we use,'' said Hurtt last week.

The Houston Police Department has stepped up efforts to crack down on the local "spa scene." Besides the new policy, authorities are using organized-crime charges to prosecute owners and operators of prostitution businesses.

:icon_hum:
 
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