Kerr County, TX

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Kerr County is a county of roughly 53,000 residents in central Texas, located on the Edwards Plateau, situated just northwest of San Antonio, TX. Its county seat is Kerrville, TX. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the county. This activity and its ancillary crimes has resulted in complaints to local law enforcement from residents and businesses. Other crimes commonly associated with prostitution in Kerr County are drug and weapons offenses. For example, in June 2022, a sting operation targeting prostitution and human trafficking resulted in the arrests of 61 people in four counties. Nine suspects were arrested in Kerr County, 12 in Kendall County, 14 in Guadalupe County, and 24 in Bexar County on charges involving prostitution, narcotics, and weapons. Two stolen handguns were recovered, and approximately 19 grams of heroin and 4.4 grams of methamphetamine were seized. The human trafficking recovery operation resulted in 11 potential victims being contacted, and at least three people accepted services that were offered to them. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.

In effort to reduce demand for commercial sex, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office has conducted multiple web-based reverse sting operations, targeting individuals seeking to purchase commercial sex. For example, in September 2021, five men were arrested and charged in connection with an online child sex sting conducted by the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies. According to a news release, the suspects were arrested after talking online with officers who they thought were underage males and females and tried to arrange meetings with them. The operation was conducted over several days.  The identities of the arrested sex buyers were publicly disclosed.

Additional charges may be added as this investigation continues. “This operation represents a new era in confronting those who victimize children in our area,” said Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha. “This multi-agency effort produced multiple arrests of people trying to meet underage victims. Using digital, in-person, and online methods, we have prevented immediate and ongoing threats. Operations of this kind combat human trafficking, child sex crime, among other criminal activity.”

In November 2021, a similar web-based reverse sting operation was conducted that resulted in the arrest of twenty sex buyers in Kerr County. The Kerr County Sheriff’s Office said that undercover officers talked with more than 265 individuals online who were looking for prostituted persons, and some were looking to sexually exploit minors in exchange for money. The 20 suspects arrested attempted to meet what they believed were women, and in some cases minors, for sex, according to the press release, “As evidenced through interviews and contraband seized in this operation, prostitution is part of a larger picture of criminal activity, including the drug trade and child victimization. Human smuggling, sex trafficking, and prostitution are crimes that support each other, and we’re working hard on all fronts to stop them.”

State Texas
Type County
Population 52598
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