20 caught in sex sting, more than half Ft. Hood Soldiers

BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWKT) - Twenty men were arrested in Bell County for solicitation for prostitution.
Bell County Deputies put up sex-for-money ads online in hopes of finding sexual predators in our area and off the streets.

"We wanted to do a john suppression operation where we targeted the prostitution industry in bell county and we know it's here, alive and viable," said Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange,    "We know human trafficking is the hot issue right now and it has been for a number of years here in Bell County."

The deputies placed the ads and within minutes they got an answer.

"Ladies and gentlemen it did not take long," said Lange,"Once an ad was placed the shortest time was 20 minutes! "

The deputies exchanged text messages with the men discussing prices and services.

After several texts, they revealed their location to meet.

"We had investigators set up outside, so we could get them in and see who's going in and out of the rooms so once they made entry in the room they were arrested on the spot," said Major T.J. Cruz who led the sting operation. "It was interesting to see what these men were asking for,"

One man walked into the hotel with a bag full of sex toys and lingerie.

Another man walked up to the hotel and had his mother and wife in the parking lot.

More than half of these men are active duty Fort Hood Soldiers, including high ranking military personnel.

"We arrested a Major, a Master Sargent, A Chief Warrant Officer 3, and other soldiers," said Lange. "When I walked into the booking room where they were housing the men, there was one officer that I noticed and if there was a picture poster soldier- this guy was it, he was buff , very well spoken and then he does something like this, it's very disappointing, it really is."

Fort Hood has not released the status of the soldiers, but Sheriff Eddy Lange says he's confident these charges will impact their careers.

"We're putting these predators on our radar and we're letting them know that here in Bell County we're not going to tolerate this and we want to warn those who like to surf the dark web, you don't know who you're dealing with, it could be the police and in certain instances like these soldiers their career is probably over."

All twenty men have bonded out.

Two are facing felonies for specifically requesting to have sexual relations with minors.

Deputies say the men could face jail time and serious fines depending on their criminal history. 

Article from MyCenTX.com


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