Nolanville is a city of roughly 5,600 residents located in Bell County, Texas, and is within the Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bell County is situated south of Waco near Killeen in central Texas. Bell county has a population of about 335,000, and cities within the county include Belton and Temple. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city of Nolanville, in surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of 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 is child sex trafficking.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, local police have conducted reverse stings. For example, in August 2018 Nolanville police and investigators from the Texas Department of Public Safety staged a two-day, web-based reverse sting. The operation started after police determined a runaway teenager caught breaking into a home was a human trafficking victim. Investigators posed online as an underaged girl, and one man reportedly began a text message conversation and sent naked pictures of himself to someone he believed was a 16-year-old girl, but instead was a DPS investigator. The man reportedly asked for pictures of the girl and agreed to meet her at a hotel to have sex. The man described the car he would be in and where he would park, and said he would have a woman in the car with him. Agents saw the car the man described parked next to a vehicle. The DPS surveillance team sent a text to the phone from where the naked pictures were sent, and that was the cellphone that suspect had on him. An arrest warrant for was issued by a Bell County Justice of the Peace, and the defendant held in the Bell County Jail. The other two cases were substantially similar, minus the transmission of explicit photos. A 19-year-old Killeen man was charged with solicitation of prostitution and two Temple men, ages 26 and 27, were charged with online solicitation of a minor. Their names were released by police to the public.
- Nolanville Police Department
- Harker Heights Police Department
- Texas Department of Public Safety
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- http://kdhnews.com/news/crime/three-arrested-on-charges-of-solicitation-of-minors-in-nolanville (2018)
- http://www.kxxv.com/story/39067272/3-bell-county-men-arrested-in-online-solicitation-investigation (2018)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Undercover Sting Nabs 26 for Soliciting,” Temple Daily Telegram, October 5 2004.
- “Two-Month Prostitution Sting Nets Dozens of Arrests,” CBS/KWTX-TV 10, June 13 2007.
- “Temple Sting Nets 55 Arrests,” Temple Daily Telegram, June 14 2007.
- “East Side Targeted for Cleanup,” Temple Daily Telegram, May 25 2007.
- “Crackdown: Motel Owner Allowed Illegal Activities,” Temple Daily Telegram, June 16 2007.
- “Local Motel Owner Arrested on Federal Charges,” CBS/KWTX-TV 10, June 16 2007.
- “As Stores Moved Out, Crime Moved In,” Temple Daily Telegram, March 23 2008.
- “Avenue G’s Decline, Slow Rebirth,” Temple Daily Telegram, March 23 2008.
- http://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Ex-school-district-employees-among-10-arrested-in-prostitution-sting (2017)
- http://kdhnews.com/news/crime/arrested-in-bell-county-prostitution-sting (2018)
- http://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Two-day-Central-Texas-prostitution-sting-nets-30-arrests (2018)
- http://www.centexproud.com/news/local/30-men-arrested-in-bell-county-prostitution-sting/ (2018)