10 arrested in Bell County prostitution sting

10 people ranging in age from 23 to 77 from all over Central Texas were arrested following a prostitution sting in Bell County.

The Bell County Sheriff's Department says that the sting was part of a Human Trafficking Suppression operation in partnership with the Bell County Organized Crime Unit, the Fort Hood Military Police, and the Fort Hood Criminal Investigations Division.

On Feb. 22-23, digital ads were placed on known websites promoting prostitution. Officers then responded to more than 700 messages from 73 different people in response to the ads over two days. Six people were arrested on Feb. 22 and an additional four were arrested on Feb. 23.

 Each of the arrested individuals was charged with Soliciting a Prostitute, a state felony in Texas

  • Christopher Bell, 44, of Temple
  • Jamal Davis, 23, of Killeen
  • Shawn Ginn, 37, of Killeen
  • Steven Gwynn, 59, of Eddy
  • Vicente Pereira, 47, of Killeen
  • Luis Ramirez, 32, of Killeen
  • Danny Reed, 36, of Georgetown
  • Kevin Roe, 26, of Killeen
  • Brian Whipple, 55, of Killeen
  • Clifford Visel, 77, of Round Rock

Additionally, one of them received a charge of resisting arrest, but Bell County did not identify which. 

Bell County residents, who suspect or have knowledge of human trafficking or are in need of assistance themselves, can reach out locally to Aware Central Texas at 254-813-0968, or can nationally report by calling the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or by texting "Help" to 233733 (BEFREE).


"In the past, we have heard public criticism to operations like this that amounted to ‘this is just sex between consenting adults,’ but that’s far from the truth," Chief Deputy T.J. Cruz said in a release. "In a previous sting, we arrested an individual with body bags, duct tape, and bleach in his trunk. During this week’s operation, one of the defendants negotiated a price but arrived with no money. What do you think his plan was?"

The Sheriff’s Department says it's also concerned with the potential connection between prostitution and human trafficking. "Many prostitutes are themselves victims of human trafficking," Cruz said. "They can be subjected to physical and sexual assault, robbery, and even murder."

Another concern is for those soliciting, who have often become the victims of other crimes. "There are known incidents, though many go unreported, of johns being assaulted, robbed and, right here in Bell County, recently murdered," Cruz said. "Our effort is to deter all people from seeking out this criminal behavior, and, therefore, making our County safer for everyone."