For months, concerned citizens and families of victims have been calling for Fort Hood Military Base In Killeen, Texas to be closed, due to the rampant crime and abuse that seems to thrive there. Fort Hood is the largest US military base in the world, and it is one of the most controversial.
According to a 2018 RAND study, Fort Hood had the highest number of reported sexual assaults and rapes of any US military facility worldwide, based on data from 2014. Some type of sexual abuse reportedly played a role in the murder of Vanessa Guillen, the soldier who was killed earlier this year, provoking outrage and casting a dark shadow on the base.
Numerous other murders have also been reported at the base, and some soldiers are accused of being a part of a child trafficking ring that was busted earlier this week. Investigators have not yet released many specifics about the case, but 9 men were arrested during a recent sting operation near the base. At least two of those men were identified as working at the military base.
Police spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez says that local police orchestrated a sting operation and found men who were willing to trade money, drugs, and alcohol in exchange for sex with girls as young as 15 or 16 years old.
According to KWTX, the men arrested include Anthony Xavier Antwon, 25, of Fort Hood, felony prostitution under 18; Javier Perez, 40, of Austin, felony prostitution under 18; Brian Harley Flynn, 21, of Temple, felony prostitution under 18; Brandon Anthony Lee, 25, of Killeen, felony prostitution under 18; Dustin Edward Johnson, 42, of Lott, felony prostitution under 18; Timmy Jones Jr., 30, of Fort Hood, felony prostitution under 18; Shaun Paul Moore, 39, of Kempner, felony prostitution under 18; Rakeem Jamal Nelson, 28, of Killeen, Class A prostitution; and Pierre Jean, 32, of Killeen, Class A prostitution.
This isn't the first time that something like this has happened either, last month, 6 Fort Hood soldiers were caught up in a human trafficking sting, although it is not clear if children were a part of that case.
Fourteen people were arrested after a two-day sex trafficking, pimp and prostitution sting that was conducted by the Temple Police Department and Bell County Sheriff's Department on March 13 and 14. https://t.co/jSGjBpt5Pg
— Auntie Mame (@nitagale) June 30, 2020
Back in April, a 20-year-old Army soldier named Vanessa Guillen went missing from the base. Her body was finally found in June, in a field not far from where another soldier's body was recovered weeks before. There have been nearly a dozen suspicious deaths at the base in the past year, but the situation really didn't start to receive national media attention until Guillen's family began to speak out about the conditions there.
The main area of Fort Hood had a total population of 53,416 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. Fort Hood is the most populous U.S. military installation in the world. Named after Confederate General John Bell Hood, it is located halfway between Austin and Waco, about 60 miles (or 97 km) from each city. The post is the headquarters of III Corps and First Army Division West and is home to the 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Cavalry Regiment, among others. Fort Hood is one of ten Army bases in the United States that are named after former Confederate generals.