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21 people from Texas, Louisiana arrested in Beaumont during anti-human trafficking bust

Beaumont Police and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office worked together for a two-day joint operation targeting what officials called "sex buyers."

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Southeast Texas anti-human trafficking operation led to 21 arrests, officials said. 

Beaumont Police and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office worked together for a two-day joint operation targeting what officials called "sex buyers," Officer Carol Riley said in a news release. 

The 21 men arrested are accused of soliciting sexual relations from both minors and adults. The investigation is still ongoing, but additional charges are expected. 

"Human trafficking is modern day slavery — the exploitation of men, women and children for forced labor or sex by a third party for profit or gain," Riley said in a statement. "A person doesn’t have to be transported across borders for trafficking to take place — it can occur anywhere."

RELATED: 'Modern-day slavery:' Half of men arrested in human trafficking sting believed they were talking to minors

Many victims of trafficking are children who are forced into prostitution are children according to Riley. The operation's purpose was to reduce the demand and deter people from purchasing sex. 

"Sex trafficking is fueled by the demand that these buyers provide," she said. "Without men who are willing to purchase sex, traffickers and pimps would not exploit victims."

Here is a list of the people arrested: 

  • Taha Khan, 29, of Beaumont, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor, released on $5,000 bond Oct. 23. 
  • Gary Barnes, 53, of Zachary, Louisiana, is charged with prostitution under age 18, a second Degree felony with a $25,000 bond, and prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor with a $3,000 bond. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24. 
  • Robert George, 50, Lake Charles, Louisiana, is charged with prostitution under 18, which is a second degree felony. He was released on a $25,000 bond Oct. 24.
  • Phillip Ray, 65, Port Neches, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor with a $3,000 bond. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24. 
  • Dr. Sadiq Ali, 33, of Houston, is charged with prostitution under 18, which is a second degree felony. He was released on $25,000 bond Oct. 24. 
  • Jermaine Pattum, 29, of Jennings, Louisiana, charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He was released on $3,000 bond Oct. 24. 
  • Omar Resendiz, 30, of Beaumont, is charged with prostitution under 18, which is a second degree felony with a $25,000 bond. He is still in the  Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24. 
  • Venkata Kishore Yadan Penneru, 26, of Beaumont, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He was released on a $3,000 bond Oct. 24. 
  • Jordan Mitchell, 33, of Lumberton, is charged with prostitution under 18, which is a second degree felony. He was released on a $30,000 bond Oct. 24. 
  • Brant Erwin, 26, of Vidor, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He was released on a $3,000 bond Oct. 24.
  • Devendra Sah, 28, of Beaumont, is charged with prostitution under 18, which is a second degree felony. He was released on a $25,000 bond Oct. 24.
  • Oliver Fernando Rodriguez, 29, of Beaumont, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He was released on a $3,500 bond on Oct. 24. 
  • Christopher Michael Herring, 40, of Beaumont, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24. 
  • Quenton Alexander Pickens, 33, of Beaumont, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24. 
  • Emiliano Alcala Beltran, 42, of Lumberton, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor and evading arrest and resisting arrest, also class A misdemeanors. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24.
  • Edward Jimenez, 31, of Port Arthur, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24. 
  • Joey Dewayne Hall, 40, of Kirbyville, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24.
  • Bobby Wayne Armstrong, 45, of Vidor, is charged with prostitution under 18, which is a second degree felony and prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24. 
  • Ivan Banks, 37, of Beaumont, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24. 
  • Steven McBroom, 46 of Silsbee, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24. 
  • Dr. Rajen Bhulabhai Desai, 62, of Beaumont, is charged with prostitution, which is a class A misdemeanor. He is still in the Jefferson County Jail as of Oct. 24.

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