Sex Work

Homeland Security, L.A. Police Team Up to Arrest Compton Sex Workers

But... but... these ladies were "human trafficking" themselves!



Girl rescued, 30 arrested in human trafficking operation, reads the headline. It's the kind of headline that Americans have gotten used to seeing these days, and the kind that gives the impression of a coordinated, wide-reaching sex-trafficking ring busted. Another media outlet offered the even more lurid headline "Sex Slaves in Compton." But press beyond the headline, and you'll see that the "human traffickers" arrested were actually women selling sex themselves, along with men attempting to buy sex from an undercover police officer. Like most "human trafficking operations" these days, this was a vice sting dressed up in lofty and hysterical language. 

The sting, carried out as part of the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, took place in Compton, an area where more than a quarter of residents are living in poverty, according to U.S. census data, and the violent crime rate—while down from its peak in the early '90s—is still a hotbed of unsolved homicides

But the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has priorities. Like the arrest of 17 men for talking to undercover deputies and 13 women for trying to make a living. And the impounding of 16 vehicles.

For this important "human trafficking" bust, local law enforcement officials were aided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The same week, DHS helped Santa Barbara, California, arrest 14 (mostly young and Hispanic) men for attempting to purchase sexual services from people they thought were adult sex workers. 

For the record, Homeland Security's stated mission is to "prevent terrorism… secure and manage our borders… enforce and administer our immigration laws… safeguard and secure cyberspace… and ensure resilience to disasters." Which one of these does arresting vulnerable populations for consenting sexual relations fall under, again? 

NEXT: Obama's Cynical Games May Doom Immigration Reform

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  1. is this a sign that the War on Drugs is winding down?

    1. The DHS and other law enforcement agencies are just diversifying their revenue streams in case of a slowdown in any one sector. It’s just prudent business strategy.

      1. Who says government doesn’t operate like a business?

  2. Which one of these does arresting vulnerable populations for consenting sexual relations fall under, again?


  3. Sisters are trafficking in themselves?

    1. Stop that!

  4. “prevent terrorism… secure and manage our borders… enforce and administer our immigration laws… safeguard and secure cyberspace… and ensure resilience to disasters.” Which one of these does arresting vulnerable populations for consenting sexual relations fall under, again?

    Making themselves seem relevant?

    1. Justifying their budget? Their existence? Their lack of physical fitness?

  5. But those sex slaves are the terrorists!

  6. Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force

    Los Force Angeles Human Regional Trafficking Task: LFAHRTT(tttttt-phbphbphbphb-plt!)

  7. You don’t understand. These johns who solicited sex from undercover cops would have just as happily solicited sex from actual trafficked slaves, so it’s the same thing. And those sex workers who were busted were actually saved from being kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery. So it’s indeed a victory for those brave law enforcement professionals against the forces of human trafficking. Because all prostitution is potential trafficking in sexual slaves. Just as every drug bust prevents hundreds of rapes, robberies, burglaries, and murders. So much so that the cops won’t even bother to investigate actual crimes. They’re too busy preventing crime by busting druggies. Duh.

    1. If they weren’t such low life scum, they would have went to DC and asked our esteemed congress critters where they go to do their whorin.

      1. That would violate their oath to serve and protect each other and the political class.

  8. lofty and hysterical


    Which one of these does arresting vulnerable populations for consenting sexual relations fall under, again?

    They have false consciousness and/or preferences. Can’t consent. Catch 22.

  9. These women are usually brainwashed by a pimp into selling themselves, plus they often use drugs to make the ‘jane’ addicted, at which point she will do anything for a hit.

    This article from the Economist explains how it works:

    “white girls from the suburbs go to neighbourhoods even he wouldn’t set foot in to buy heroin. Many of them are as young as 14 or 15. Some prostitute themselves to fund their addiction.”

    1. You are so smart. Please, tell us more.

      1. Perhaps he has a newsletter to which we might subscribe.

      2. “It’s like that documentary, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Taken…”

      3. I would love to hear him explain how one in four women on college campuses are raped.

    2. “white girls from the suburbs go to neighbourhoods even he wouldn’t set foot in to buy heroin.

      So it’s true… white girls from good families do hear the siren song of Bishop Don Magic Juan and immediately go on the game.

  10. Isn’t it interesting, that while are society is progressively becoming more liberal in areas of gender identity, mandating public restrooms for anyone at any stage of identify, and supposedly becoming more accepting in general, there is a concomitant increase in moralism in such instances as this, outrage over a glimpse of nudity through the window of an art gallery, and restrictions allowing ones children to play in their own back yard and how much of your own money you can withdraw from your checking account?

    I perceive a net loss, and label it schizophrenia on a massive scale.

    1. I perceive a net loss

      I do as well. Additionally, ban cigarettes, legalize marijuana (but only if the government is in charge of it), and you can’t eat that if you are a poor.

      1. But only if it’s properly labeled and produced in a union shop.

    2. No one gets more morally outraged than so called ‘liberals’. They’re the new Puritans. They are liberal about things they like, but they want to ban everything else. They don’t care at all about your rights to do things that they don’t personally approve of. If they personally don’t like sugary drinks, then sugary drinks should be off limits for everyone.

      1. I find no one to be more intolerant than those who preach tolerance.

        1. Except us, of course. We preach “live and let live” and we are super-tolerant. Except of faux-libertarians, of course. I can’t tolerate those dip-weasles.

          1. And the Dutch!

      2. and, they believe that the only possible way to modify a person’s behavior is a law against what they’re doing.

        “There outta be a law against that!”

        “Why is O’Reilly allowed to be on the air?”

    3. I perceive a net loss,

      One of many, because libertarian moment, or something.

    4. I perceive a net loss

      You seem to see it as a clash between ‘liberal and conservative’ cultures.

      I see it as a clash between “people minding their own business” and “people minding other people’s business”

      And its entirely one-sided.

      Its odd that anyone would see “needing legislation and police to ensure people have ‘access’ to the toilet of their choice” as “becoming more ‘accepting'” as a society. It seems to me when you need to use force to achieve desired social-ends, you’re not becoming a more ‘accepting’ culture.

      1. Look, you’re going to be more tolerant or there’s no place for you here.

  11. She works hard for her money, and only gets paid 77% of what a man makes because of things like this!

  12. “prevent terrorism… secure and manage our borders… enforce and administer our immigration laws… safeguard and secure cyberspace… and ensure resilience to disasters.” Which one of these does arresting vulnerable populations for consenting sexual relations fall under, again?

    Preventing the “terrorism” of women selling their bodies? I’m sure someone is terrorized by that… Soccer moms? Wives who no longer service their husbands and don’t want said husbands to be able to arrange alternative means of sexual release (probably a huge amount of overlap in those two groups)?

    1. I think you are on to something here. Just add SJWs to that list.

    2. Maybe I can get a release with one of the soccer moms?

    3. Just curious, but if a guy said he wasn’t looking for illegal sex, but was looking for young legal starlets to star in private porno films for $1000/day, could he still get busted? Surely, making movies is protected by the 1st amendment.

      What if he says he’s looking for female leads for Hermione in his version of “Harry Potter and his Magic Wand”, but isn’t certain whether there will be any explicit sex scenes?

      What if he’s truly a 40 yo virgin looking for wife, but doesn’t want to have to train her in the more exotic sexual practices? Looking for love can’t be illegal, can it?

      What if God commanded him to save fallen women from sin? Would it help or hinder if he was a priest?

      I don’t get the whole thing about making it illegal to sell what is perfectly legal to give away for free. There must be reason this profession has lasted almost 3,000 years.

  13. Question for logic-pedants =

    I keep running into this form of argument all the time and i forget how it was classified… basically it is one version or another of –

    – Person X claims “This (school, business, movie, country) is racist” (or sexist, or classist, or whatever)

    – Person Y asks for examples

    – Every example provided by the Person X is either factually incorrect, misinterpreted, exaggerated, etc.

    – Person Y says, “it seems your evidence for your claim is either terrible or non-existent”

    – Person X falls back on “Well, you’re just claiming there’s NO SUCH THING as (racism, sexism, classism, whatever)”

    IOW – the argument shifts from person X making a specific, positive claim which they can’t substantiate……

    …. to pretending that Person Y, in denying their claim, is refusing even the possibility that any such examples MIGHT exist anywhere at any given time.

    It doesn’t always play out exactly in this way – in fact, it often seems to skip the whole “argument by example” part entirely.

    – Person X says, “The Dukes of Hazzard Was Racist”
    – Person Y responds “point to an example of the show’s racism”
    – Person X retorts, “Ugh!? You think there was *No Racism* in the South in the 1970s? OMG what the hell”

    Is it just sort of a combination-fallacy, blending “goalpost moving” and “shifting the burden”? I think the reason it confuses me is because it compounds them so quickly that it seems like a ‘third thing’. Or is it something else?

    1. I think they are just mashing fallacies together into a sort of fallacy-alloy.

      Person X falls back on “Well, you’re just claiming there’s NO SUCH THING as (racism, sexism, classism, whatever)

      “Not at all. I’m just saying you haven’t found it where you claim it is. I’m not ruling out that there isn’t bigotry somewhere. Just not there, as far as anyone can tell. You might start looking in places where they make overt distinctions based on race/gender/etc.”

      1. just another day at the Fallacy Forge.

        1. Good name for a blog.

          1. Until some SJW comes along and mistakenly thinks “fallacy” has something do with “phalluses” and shits all over the comment section.

            1. Citing logical fallacies is inherently sexist. Logic itself is inherently sexist. Duh.

              1. Hmm…if logic itself is sexist how they did get to their conclusions? Oooh, wait, no I see.

                They made them up!

      2. I’ve had that exact argument with a PhD in Social Justice Warrioring. (ok, not the actual title, but close enough). She actually moved her goalposts to “50,000 people per year were lynched in the south in the 50’s and 60’s.” And they were all racially motivated lynchings of poor black men.

        Needless to say, in pointing out the silliness of her purported “facts” I merely managed to prove my overt racism and hatred of black people. (important background knowledge – as a jewish woman who grew up in the suburbs, she doesn’t really know any black folks that well, but she’s an expert on the subject with a PhD and therefore not racist and in fact super-qualified to observe it in others, … as a white man who grew up in a racially mixed area and was married to a black woman for 15 years, I’m clearly not knowledgeable on the subject of race relations)

        Imagine her chagrin when I pulled up the statistics for lynchings on my phone…. It really made her re-evaluate her life and her career choices. Just kidding!

        But just for the record, “Are you fucking high?” was not the most appropriate tone on my part, despite the orders of magnitude error and wrong century for the period of frequent lynchings. Particularly since this was in the company of several other folks during a dinner party. It is rude to imply that someone is utterly incompetent at their chosen profession in polite company. (my little libertarian PSA)

        1. It is rude to imply that someone is utterly incompetent at their chosen profession in polite company.

          Fuck that shit. If someone’s spouting bullshit, they deserve to get called on it, regardless of setting. Although that could be why I don’t have many friends…

          1. Hence the “Libertarian PSA”. We tend to be a little toward the black/white, right/wrong spectrum on issues. And we tend not to suffer fools lightly.

            So mix with self-branded progressives who operate under the moral certitude of their holy mission and you’ve got a great recipe for an explosive interaction.

            Side note – same PhD friend was really fun when I introduced her to one of my Republican conservative friends. He’s a much more thoughtful guy – but pretty hard line. Watching them go at it was like watching a couple of rhinos having sex in a bunk bed. Funny as shit, but there was lots of damage to the room. The idea of setting them up on a date is still a go-to joke in our group.

    2. Is it just sort of a combination-fallacy, blending “goalpost moving” and “shifting the burden”?

      That’s what it sounds like to me. Maybe we need to come up with some kind of catchy sounding latin name for it? Like maybe “culus ratio sit per immutationem,” aka “being an asshole by changing the argument.”

      Assuming Google translate got that right.

    3. Is it just sort of a combination-fallacy, blending “goalpost moving” and “shifting the burden”?

      Pretty much. Though they usually like to throw in some sort of ad hominem in there, like “You must be racist for not seeing it!”

      1. Though they usually like to throw in some sort of ad hominem in there,

        Its the Kevlar-Titanium in the Fallacy-alloy….

        In fact, i think this “alloy” idea might have something to it. Often there’s so many fallacies going on at once you can’t point your finger at one without inadvertently letting multiple others slide.

        Which actually leads to a rhetorical M.O. i see used most often with the above Goalpost/Burden-Shift approach – “Shotgun-Rhetorical-Questions” (or “hand grenade”, i can’t make up my mind)

        – Person A makes clear, limited statement = “your examples X and Y are flawed because they rely on Z false-assumption”

        – Person B retorts “well isn’t Z just a social-construct? And don’t you just have a problem with X because of your status as a Y-enabler? And are you denying that Q has historically been in a position to dictate how X/Y relations are defined? And aren’t you ignoring the entire body of science related to Z-studies?…” etc.

        IOW, whenever said person finds themselves cornered into an actual discussion of discrete “Facts”, they will pull the pin on a Question-Grenade, so that a dozen issues are splattered all over the place and no one remembers that the discussion actually had a specific point which they were getting crushed on.

        this is actually the *most* common thing i see.

        1. Concatenate URL


          or if you have a newsreader, read the thread “Transgender Query” at Usenet group .

          1. I glanced that over and am not sure what i’m supposed to be looking for.

      1. I fucking love this place.

    4. AGW fits this pefectly.

      Person Y: Global warming is the greatest threat we face today!

      Person X: I don’t see convincing evidence that there’s any great imminent threat, in fact, the data shows there’s been no warming for more than 15 years.

      Person Y: What? 97% of scientists agree that global warming is real. I guess I’m going to believe the scientists!

      1. Person Y: You can’t believe the deniers because all the research is tainted with corporate profit motive!

        Person X: But all the AGW research is tainted with government power motive.

        Person Y: Oh really? There’s a great conspiracy? Yeah right. Go put on your tinfoil hat.

      2. This is why we can’t have rational discussions…

    5. I think it is referred to as ‘arguing with idiots’.

      Also known as ‘Teaching a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig’.

    6. It sounds like a Motte and Bailey argument or possibly a Kafkatrap.

      1. I’m familiar with both. When you add the element of “accusation” sarcasmic noted above, its more like the latter; without it, its more like the former….

        …but i think the entire “motte and bailey” concept is bigger than the purely-technical aspects i’m talking about

        The main mechanic is simply the ‘reversal of who is making a claim’ (switching the burden); and an enlargement of the scope (goalpost moving).

        I think the effect is ultimately the same as the “motte & bailey”; but in practice we’re talking about something far more limited and technical about how people argue.

        side note = I tend to find the “Slate Star Codex” types, who’ll waste 3,000 words trying to make a simple point, sort of tedious and overly impressed w/ themselves, FWIW. This shit isn’t rocket-science.

    7. I think it’s called “Liberalism”

  14. From the news release:

    “Thirteen women sex workers were arrested and offered victim-centered services”

    Kind of sends a mixed message, doesn’t it?

    1. Probably should read “Thirteen women sex workers were arrested and offered a choice of victim-centered services or jail time”

      1. I wonder what name the pimp at the victim-centered services goes by?

        1. You can probably find out quickly by finding out who the sponsor was for the sex trafficking bill and then look to see which of their relatives just opened a victim-centered service, by some great coincidence of course.

            1. No SJW would point to that – it’s so racist!

              /SJW derp

        2. My Dear Brother can help those young ladies….

          My brother’s a poor missionary
          He saves gorgeous women from sin
          He’ll save you a blonde for five dollars
          My God, how the money rolls in!

    2. Sex work: the only kind of “crime” where one can be both the perp and the victim at the same time.

      1. Druggies are both criminals and victims of drug pushers.

        1. True. And they’re going to be using the same tactics of the WoD in the WoHT. Yay! I can’t wait for the “toddler burned in botched human trafficking SWAT raid stories!” /sarc

      2. Sort of. Now they’re saying “the pro-life position” is the same as was satirized in Rain Without Thunder: that the person having the abortion (whom some would consider the perp, but not “pro-lifers”) is a victim of it.

      3. Wrong. Teen sexting.

  15. Any time fundamentalist progressive and fundamentalist conservatives can get together on some issue, you can be sure that individual freedom will be the casualty.

    Suffrage movement and Temperance movement = prohibition
    “Law and order” types and “think of the children types” = war on drugs
    feminists and moralizing conservatives = sex trafficking

    the list goes on and on….

  16. It’s her body, and her choice, unless she wants to get paid for having sex.

    Since that’s not a choice she could possibly want to make, anyone who makes it is arrested and charged with selling a human being. The fact the human being isn’t being sold, and is merely selling their time like anyone else, is apparently moot. (Nevermind the fact that if they had simply filmed it, and ‘sold’ the film, it would be completely legal).

    So, to sum it up, it’s only her choice when it involves little things like murder (or cell killing, take your pick). When it’s just a fun time women are too stupid to decide.


    1. Or if she’s a college student, she’s also incapable of choosing consensual sex. It’s all rape, despite what she may say afterwards.

  17. So hookers are being terrorized by the anti-terrorists? Got it.

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