Two soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, were arrested earlier this month in the nearby city of Belton for trying to pay for sex with a person who they thought was a teenager, according to the Bell County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. 1st. Class Harkin Alano and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gustavo Miranda “engaged in sexual conversation with a person believed to be a fifteen or sixteen year old female and agreed to meet this person to engage in sexual acts for a fee,” said an Aug. 9 sheriff’s office press release.

Neither soldier had an attorney listed in court records reviewed by Army Times. Police arrested six other men in the same operation, a sheriff’s office spokesperson told the Killeen Daily Herald.

Army officials confirmed the two soldiers are assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood.

Alano completed three tours in Iraq and a rotation to Korea, according to 1st Cavalry Division spokesperson Maj. Gabriela Thompson, who provided service verification. The senior NCO has been stationed at Fort Hood since September 2019.

Miranda has deployed three times to Afghanistan and completed one Korea rotation, Thompson said. He has been at Fort Hood since June 2019.

The two men face felony charges for solicitation of prostitution from a person under 18 years of age, according to court records and the sheriff’s office. The two men were released on bond, court records indicated.

“In a two-day operation, eight men were arrested for Solicitation of Prostitution from a person under 18 years of age,” the Bell County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Each individual engaged in sexual conversation with a person believed to be a fifteen or sixteen year old female and agreed to meet this person to engage in sexual acts for a fee.”

Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army, specializing in accountability reporting, personnel issues and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master's thesis about how the Cold War-era Defense Department influenced Hollywood's WWII movies.

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