Belton is a city of about 22,935 residents located in Bell County, TX. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the Bell County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market are sex trafficking, child endangerment, and violence committed against people involved in these transactions.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response. For example, in November 2017, a one-day internet based reverse sting operation led to the arrest of 10 sex buyers. The 10 men were all released after posting bond. Two former local school district employees were among the men arrested, the Bell County Sheriff’s Department announced. In February 2018, the Bell County Sheriff’s Department led the local part of the “National Johns Suppression” operation. The nationwide coalition of federal and local law enforcement agencies specifically targeting customers of prostitution, and was aimed at reducing demand for purchased sex. Bell County sheriff’s deputies assisted by officers from Bryan and Temple arrested 30 men in a two-day initiative aimed at arresting individuals seeking sex for money. One of the 30, a Fort Hood soldier, had a knife, six strands of rope, duct tape and a body bag in his vehicle, authorities said Thursday. Among those arrested were businessmen, four Fort Hood soldiers, two men who are currently on probation for unrelated offenses and three who were transferred to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
- Bell County Sheriff’s Department
Web-based Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- http://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Two-day-Central-Texas-prostitution-sting-nets-30-arrests-473398083.html (2017)
- http://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Ex-school-district-employees-among-10-arrested-in-prostitution-sting-457480143.html (2018)
Background on Prostitution in the Area: