TEMPLE, Texas – The Bell County Sheriff’s Office arrested eight men and two women during a prostitution sting last week.
This is the culmination of a month-long investigation.
Two of the suspects arrested are Fort Hood soldiers – Deleon Krisoff Romero and Kaiem Keemo DeWalt. Another man facing charges is Jose Lopez-Medina.
According to a cached page from the Killeen Chamber of Commerce’s website, Medina is a member. He is also a Business Counselor at the Central Texas Business Resource Center.
Others arrested include Felipe Rodriguez, Jonathan Allen Burton, Guillermo Elias Martinez, Aaron Bernard Barraza, Heather Sullivan, Fredranisha Lynette Fleming, and Rex Allen McAdams, III. All were charged with prostitution except for Fleming, who was charged with violating her parole.
Sullivan was previously convicted four times for prostitution, making her charge a Class A misdemeanor instead of Class B.
“It was a really good operation. I think it worked out well for us. Hopefully we made a little bit of an impact,” says Sgt. Michael Bolton, with Temple Police.
Sheriff’s deputies, Temple Police officers, and multiple non-profit anti-human trafficking organizations came together for the operation.
Sheriff Eddy Lange says he is happy to get these people off the streets, but disappointed that stings like this are necessary.
“Success in this business would mean if we did this operation and arrested no one. That’s what we certainly hope would happen some day if we continue to do this. That this problem would no longer exist in our community. But unfortunately, that’s not reality,” Lange says.
The sting took place at a secret location in Temple over two days. Deputies put out ads online for prostitution and also answered others.
They then took down anyone who messaged them and showed up at their location.
“You don’t necessarily have to engage in a sexual act. It’s you agree, and that’s where we’re getting these individuals, the johns, the traffickers that we are arresting,” says Lt. Michele Cianci, with the Sex Crimes Unit of the Sheriff’s Department.
Six women were also taken in when they responded to an officer on their ad, but deputies don’t want to arrest them.
“It’s our goal for the young ladies that are involved with this as far as the human trafficking goes. If we can save one of those individuals, it is a great success,” Lange says.
“We understand that it may not be the first time that we talk to someone that they accept assistance, and that we just need to let them know that we are going to be there. And if we see them one time or we see them eight times. We’re going to be there to make sure they get the assistance that they need,” says Misty Biddick, Executive Director of Aware Central Texas.
Ultimately, the Sheriff wants the results of this sting to serve as a warning to potential criminals.
“And just remember everyone, you never know what’s on the other end of that computer,” Lange says.
You can witness what was said during the arrests by watching the video below.