Two Fort Hood soldiers and one soldier from Fort Sam Houston were recently arrested as part of a two-day child sex trafficking sting in the latest bad news coming out of the Texas Army post. The men were arrested and charged with prostitution when they arrived at a location where they believed they would be meeting up with underage girls who they were paying for sex.
The two soldiers from Fort Hood, 25-year-old Spc. Anthony Xavier Antwon and 30-year-old Pfc. Timmy Jones Jr., were hit with felony charges of prostitution under the age of 18. The two men are being held at Bell County Jail on $50,000 bond. Meanwhile, 32-year-old Staff Sergeant Pierre Jean, a combat medic assigned to Fort Sam Houston, was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for prostitution.
They were among nine suspects who were arrested after contacting undercover officers via social media to arrange sexual acts with young girls who they believed were around 15 or 16 years old. They had promised to pay the girls with money, alcohol and drugs. The sting was carried out by the Killeen Police Department’s Special Victims Unit in conjunction with the Texas Department of Safety.
The news comes after six active duty enlisted Fort Hood soldiers were arrested for agreeing to engage in sexual acts for a fee as part of a sex trafficking prostitution ring that was carried out in March by the Temple Police Department and the Bell County Sheriff’s Department.
Alarming number of violent and suspicious soldier deaths seen at Fort Hood this year
Fort Hood has also been making headlines for a series of suspicious and violent soldier deaths in recent months.
On June 21, the remains of 24-year-old soldier Gregory Morales were found near the base. Officials with the army at first believed he deserted the base, but they now suspect he was murdered. In May, Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans was found dead of a gunshot wound and his vehicle was found burned.
On July 1, the body of 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen was found close to the base. Her suspected killer, fellow Fort Hood soldier Aaron Robinson, fatally shot himself as police tried to arrest him.
Robinson’s girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, told investigators that he admitted he had killed her with a hammer and put her body in a box, and the two of them dismembered her body and buried it together.
Guillen had confided to her sisters before her death that she had been sexually harassed by a superior and was afraid to report it because of potential retaliation, and it is believed she was referring to Robinson. Her family said she was planning to file a harassment complaint against him the day after she was killed, and investigators believe he became enraged when she informed him of her plans.
A RAND study singled out Fort Hood as having the highest number of reported rapes and sexual assaults out of all the American military facilities worldwide.
Fort Hood was also the scene of a mass shooting in 2009 when a U.S. Army psychiatrist killed 13 people and injured 32. A veteran killed three people and injured 16 before killing himself five years later.
So far this year, there have been 23 deaths among the 36,500 soldiers at the post. These include seven suicides, four homicides, two deaths of natural causes, one drowning, one combat-related death, seven off-duty accidents, and one of undetermined cause.
On July 10, Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy ordered a review of Fort Hood’s command climate and culture in response to the more recent wave of violent crimes and other complaints.
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Written by Isabelle Z.