Vanquishing Vice

A Smut Buster Battles Sin in the City Activist Dan Hurlbut crusades to stamp out pornography and prostitution in Houston

"Bust!" With that crack of an undercover agent's voice on the Harris County sheriff's radio, an unmarked white Chrysler rips out of a gravel driveway. From other directions, four cars race down a seedy strip of highway toward an abandoned gray house. A vice raid is under way on Houston's north side, and alongside the sergeant in the Chrysler's front seat, citizen Dan Hurlbut, smut buster, unsheathes a dark cigar and relishes the upcoming catch.

In a city known for world-class pornography, Hurlbut has carved a swath of reform. An executive-search consultant in his more mundane life, the burly 59- year-old...

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