Salado, TX

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Salado is a small town of about 2,390 residents in Bell County, Texas. In September 2017, the tiny town of Salado aided the Bell County Sheriff’s Department by playing a large role in the conduction of a two-day sex trafficking and prostitution sting that resulted in 20 men arrested for buying sex. Thirteen of those arrested were active duty soldiers ranked from Private E-2, Master Sergeant, Major and Chief Warrant Officer 3. The other seven men were businessmen from the central Texas area. The 20 men arrested were taken to the Bell County Jail and all made bond.  Two suspects are facing possible felony charges for soliciting sex with a person under the age of 18. The two-day operation happened at motels in Killeen and Salado, with five men arrested in the Salado hotel, and the remaining 15 men arrested in the Killeen hotel. Police said once an ad was placed online, it took 20 minutes for men to start responding. The sting was a part of the National John Suppression Initiative Operation. The Bell County Sheriff’s Department received assistance from the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department.   The Special Crimes Unit director said the prices for sex generally ranged from $60 to $200, depending on what sexual act they wanted and how long they wanted to occupy the provider. One of the men arrested for felonies asked for sex with someone under the age of 18 and another wanted a “two-fer” — sex with a minor and an older woman.  Some women responded to the ad, but none of them showed up. The names and other personal information of the arrestees were released to the public.



Key Partners

  • Bell County Sheriff’s Department
  • McLennan County Sheriff’s Office
State Texas
Type City
Population 2391
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