Thirteen active-duty soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, were arrested after law enforcement conducted a 16-hour prostitution sting in Bell County.
The Bell County Sheriff’s Department Special Crimes Unit and the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department worked together to place online ads offering sexual services in exchange for money.
After responding to the ads, texting was used to agree upon a location and price for services — which ranged from $80 to $200, according to a sheriff’s department spokesman.
An undercover female deputy would meet the men at the door of the hotel, and once they were inside, they were taken into custody by authorities, Maj. T.J. Cruz told Army Times on Wednesday.
Twenty men were arrested in all, and the 13 soldiers ranged in rank from private to major, he said.
“Our goal is to focus our efforts on sex buyers who are seeking to take advantage of sex trafficking victims,” Cruz said. “We are putting these predators on notice that our Bell County community will not tolerate their behavior.”
The punishment for engaging in prostitution ranges from a fine to jail time, but the charges could affect the military careers of the soldiers.
The sheriff’s office confirmed the following soldiers were arrested, and Fort Hood officials confirmed ranks and units for 11 of the 13:
- Sgt. Carlos Castillo, 1st Cavalry Division.
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ernest Grant, Warrior Transition Unit.
- Staff Sgt. Natalion Seymour, 2nd Chemical Battalion.
- Staff Sgt. Kendrick Davis, 57th Signal Battalion.
- Master Sgt. Stanley Ervin, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
- Pvt. Xavier Horne, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment.
- Warrant Officer 1 Gregory Hughes, 1st Combat Service Support Battalion.
- Maj. Donta White, 89th Military Police Brigade.
- Spc. Jimmie Joiner, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment.
- Pfc. Adrian Upshawn, 3rd Cavalry Regiment.
- Sgt. Michael Culpepper, 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment.
- Joseph Bartolomei.
- Dontae Johnson
Charlsy is a Reporter and Engagement Manager for Military Times. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.