HPOU presented Detective Wesley Jones with Investigator of the Month honors at the May general membership meeting.
Several months ago Detective Jones became aware of a suspect that was involved in a possible human trafficking operation. Although not all the details can be provided because the case is pending trial, the suspect has ultimately been accused of trafficking multiple women, some underaged, and forcing them to engage in his prostitution enterprise.
Jones worked tirelessly to track down and interview complaints that had been victims of the suspect’s unprecedented violence and control. This included physically assaults on a regular basis in order to establish dominance and to gain their compliance with his criminal enterprise.
The detective utilized numerous investigative techniques in both his undercover capacity as well as behind the desk to identify and locate victims, evidence, and the suspect. As a result of this incredible work the District Attorney’s office was able to file “continuous trafficking of persons” and is seeking a life sentence for the suspect. Continuous trafficking of a person is when a person by force fraud or coercion causes another to engage in sexual conduct on two or more occasions during a period of 30 days or longer.
It carries a penalty of 25 to life. The physical abuse and exploitation went on for years before and would likely have continued but for Detective Jones’ investigation. The DA’s office has said publicly that this case is historic because it is the first time that the charge has been filed in Harris County. Jones’ continued efforts culminating in the identification of victims and the arrest of the trafficker serve as a model for long-term human trafficking investigations.
Detective Jones’ investigation also resolved other related cases, including an FSGI. It should also be noted that during his months long investigation, Jones served as a valuable resource to other investigators and helped with their cases, including a human trafficking case stemming from Arizona as well as a capital murder case that took investigators to Louisiana.
Detective Jones’ initiative, tenacity, and his continued dedication to human trafficking undoubtedly qualifies him to be recognized as Investigator of the Month.