7 arrests follow FBI-led human trafficking operation targeting prostitution including victimizing minors
Published 4:56 pm Thursday, May 18, 2023
A joint human trafficking operation was conducted Wednesday in Beaumont.
This is the first FBI led online covert initiative in the Beaumont area, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The most common form of human trafficking detected by national authorities is trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Every year, millions of men, women and children are trafficked worldwide, including in Southeast Texas.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, along with FBI Beaumont and Beaumont PD, conducted an online solicitation investigation, where individuals were searching online sex sites and phone apps for males and females, some underage, to engage in sexual relations.
These seven individuals showed up at the agreed upon motel rooms where they were subsequently arrested.
Those arrested include 27-year-old Luke Cameron, 35-year-old Christopher Honkomp, 46-year-old Derrick Waldon, 61-year-old Kyle Sterling, 24-year-old Jerome Harmon, 36-year-old Tyler Berry and 46-year-old Gilder Boulard.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Cameron is from Colmesneil and Honkomp is from Orange. The rest are from Beaumont.
They were each charged with solicitation of prostitution.
Sterling, Boulard and Honkomp were additionally charged with solicitation of a minor.
“FBI Beaumont was proud to lead its first-ever federal online covert initiative alongside our partners at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Beaumont Police Department,” said FBI Beaumont Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Nicole Sinegar.
“Protecting our East Texas community from subjects seeking to harm children is a top priority for our office. We look forward to spearheading more operations to guard our neighbors from sexual predators.”
Sheriff Zena Stephens said your local, state and federal law enforcement agencies will continue such joint operations in hopes of saving those individuals that are being victimized.
If you suspect human trafficking, please report it immediately to the local law enforcement agency or contact Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas by calling 409-833-TIPS (8477), log onto www.833tips.com, or download the P3 app.
You will not be asked your name and you could be eligible for a cash reward.