Thirteen Fort Hood soldiers face charges after being arrested this week in a prostitution sting targeting two hotels in Salado and Killeen, Texas.
“Most likely their military careers will be affected,” Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange said Tuesday at a news conference.
The 16-hour sting, conducted by the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, resulted in the arrests of 20 men who responded to online ads offering sexual service in exchange for money. The conversations were then continued over text message through which locations and times were arranged and payments negotiated, based on what the men wanted. According to the sheriff’s office, the rates ranged from $60 to $200.
"Sheriff deputies and investigators stay and waited for the individuals to make contact and then agree to meet in person to pay for sex and ladies and gentlemen it did not take long," Lange said. "Once an ad was placed, I think the shortest time was about 20 minutes before they had the first contact so again this is a very viable institution here in Bell County that we intend on trying to put a dent in."
AP Photo/ Tamir Kalifa
"Allegations such as these are taken seriously as they run counter to Army values,” Tom Rheinlander, director of Fort Hood Public Affairs, said in a statement on Tuesday. “As always, we are supportive of local authorities and will cooperate fully. Fort Hood will refrain from commenting further given that this is an ongoing investigation."
All 20 men are now being charged with solicitation of prostitution and two may face felony charges for specifically responding to ads for prostitutes under the age of 18. One man had his wife and mother in the car waiting in the hotel parking lot, according to the sheriff’s department, although it is unclear if he is a soldier or a civilian.
The names of 12 soldiers involved in the sting were released by the sheriff’s office and are listed below:
- 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
- Spc. Christopher John Webster, III Corps
- Joseph Bartolomei
- Dontae Johnson