New documents detail how SWAT raid of alleged Texas sex-trafficking ring HQ went down

The operation came after a three-month multi-jurisdictional investigation headed by the Dallas Police Department


By Nichole Manna
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas — Newly released court documents give the first detailed police account of how the SWAT raid to break up an alleged North Texas sex-trafficking ring went down on Sept. 11.

The operation came after a three-month multi-jurisdictional investigation headed by the Dallas Police Department. In the end, three people, including the alleged ringleader, Tremont “Macknificent” Blakemore, 39, were arrested. Fifteen women — ages 19 to 54 — were given resources for victims of sex trafficking and two toddlers were placed in foster care.

The investigation ended on Sept. 11 at around 7 a.m. at 12405 Yellow Wood Drive in North Fort Worth when the SWAT team’s armored vehicle pulled into the front yard of the house, digging its tires into the lawn.

The vehicle’s ram pushed open the front door and SWAT officers used their PA system to call out to anyone inside the five-bedroom home.

An unspecified number of adults and children came out of the house and police thought there was an additional man inside the home who was refusing to leave. To draw him out, or wake up anyone else who might have been inside, officers used two flash bangs — one in the backyard and one in the entryway.

When no one exited the house, officers sent in a robot. Again, no other occupants were found, so SWAT officers entered.

They found a Smith & Wesson pistol lying on the floor of the entryway that led into the garage. The documents didn’t detail what else investigators found inside.

Officers also cleared several vehicles that were in the driveway. They broke the windows on some because the tint was too dark to see if anyone was hiding inside. The vehicles included a black Escalade, a Volkswagen CC, a KIA Sportage, a Cadillac and a Bentley.

Police returned to the house five times in the hours and days after the raid when neighbors called to report seeing people at the address.

Officers found an empty house when they arrived, or women who were identified as victims returning to gather their belongings.

Blakemore has been charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution, engaging in organized criminal activity, money laundering, tampering with evidence and compelling prostitution by force, threat or fraud.

He’s being held in the Dallas County jail on a $1.25 million bond.

Police say they believe Blakemore has controlled upward of 100 women in his trafficking ring.

The ring also operated out of houses in the 1700 block of Overlook Drive in Lancaster, the 4500 block of Marcell Avenue in west Oak Cliff and the 2600 block of Timberline Drive in Flower Mound, court documents say.

 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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