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Dozens of electronics seized from home of Abilene man accused of sex trafficking minors

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Dozens of electronic devices have been seized from the home of an elderly Abilene man facing sex trafficking charges for allegedly paying minors and teens to perform sexual favors.

At least 5 computers and 10 laptops, as well as numerous cameras, tablets, phones, servers, and storage devices, were taken into police custody when a search warrant was executed at the home of Howard Collier, 70, in December. 

Two days before the search warrant was executed, a SWAT team arrested Collier at his home on the 500 block of Jolly Rogers Road and he was charged with Continuous Trafficking of Persons. He was initially arrested for Sexual Assault of a Child and Sexual Assault of a Child - Employ/Induce Performance, at the conclusion of an investigation that began in early December. 

During a press conference following Collier's most-recent arrest, police said they believe Collier may have paid multiple minors for sexual favors at his home. Detectives initially believed he may have been paying these minor for yard work, a subsequent investigation revealed that wasn't the case.

Police are now investigating the potential for "many more victims" and they're asking these victims or the family members of these victims to come forward if they have any suspicions of if they know of any minors visiting Collier at his home on Jolly Rogers Road.

Court documents state police bean investigating Collier after a family member of an Abilene minor came forward and said Collier had been paying the minor for sexual favors.

This family member "stated that she has heard that Mr. Collier allows juveniles and older teens, ages 13 through 19, to enter his home and get money for performing sexual acts on each other or himself," according to the documents. 

The documents also state this family member has known the minor was getting money from Collier for a year but she believed the money was from doing work around his house. She said she only came forward after meeting him recently because he "creeped her out" and she began to believe the stories. 

She elaborated on her claims and told detectives she "has heard of several juveniles visiting Mr. Collier to 'get money' and even heard of juveniles purchasing new and high-dollar vehicles with money received from Mr. Collier," the documents reveal. 

During the subsequent investigation, the documents state the family member, the minor, and Collier all provided identical accounts of an incident in September where the minor and an of-age teen were paid $800-$1,000 to engage in sexual activity with each other and Collier. 

Collier was released from the Taylor County Jail after posting bonds totaling $60,000 the same day as his arrest. 


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