Salado, 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

Salado is a town of about 2,400 residents in Bell County, Texas. In September 2017, local police 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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