Backpage.com CEO arrested in Houston

HOUSTON – In an effort to combat human trafficking, Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage.com, was arrested in Houston on Thursday, according to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Backpage.com is a notorious adult website that generates millions of dollars annually from classified sex advertisements.

Ferrer, 55, was taken into custody on a California arrest warrant after arriving in Houston on a flight from Amsterdam, according to officials.

A lengthy joint investigation by the Texas and California attorneys general showed that adult and child sex trafficking victims were forced into prostitution through escort ads that appeared repeatedly on Backpage.com.

“Making money off the backs of innocent human beings by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas,” Paxton said. “I intend to use every resource my office has to make sure those who profit from the exploitation and trafficking of persons are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Dozens of law enforcement officers participated in the arrest and execution of a search warrant at the Dallas headquarters of Backpage.com, which is considered the largest advertiser of adult escort services in the United States.