By Debbie Gregory.
A sting conducted by the Bell County Sheriff’s Department resulted in the arrests of 13 Fort Hood soldiers who now face charges of solicitation of prostitution.
The men responded to online ads offering sexual service in exchange for money. The locations and times were arranged via text messages.
The soldiers, who were among 20 individuals arrested in the operation, ranged in rank from private to major. Each soldier has been released on bond, ranging from $1,500 to $2500.
“Allegations such as these are taken seriously as they run counter to Army values,” Tom Rheinlander, director of Fort Hood Public Affairs, said in a statement. “As always, we are supportive of local authorities and will cooperate fully. Fort Hood will refrain from commenting further given that this is an ongoing investigation.”
The men have been charged with solicitation of prostitution and two may face felony charges for specifically responding to ads for prostitutes under the age of 18.
Although solicitation of prostitution is a misdemeanor with a punishment ranging from a fine to jail time, the soldiers could face additional punishment or adverse impacts on their military careers.
Pandering and prostitution is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which, if found guilty at court-martial, could result in a maximum penalty that includes a dishonorable discharge and a year of confinement.
The soldiers arrested were identified as:
Sgt. Carlos Castillo, 1st Cavalry Division
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ernest Grant, Warrior Transition Unit
Staff Sgt. Natalion Seymour, 2nd Chemical Battalion
Staff Sgt. Kendrick Davis, 57th Signal Battalion
Master Sgt. Stanley Ervin, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command
Pvt. Xavier Horne, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment
Warrant Officer 1 Gregory Hughes, 1st Combat Service Support Battalion
Maj. Donta White, 89th Military Police Brigade
Spc. Jimmie Joiner, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment
Pfc. Adrian Upshawn, 3rd Cavalry Regiment
Sgt. Michael Culpepper, 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment
Spc. Christopher John Webster, III Corps