KCSO sting operation nets 20 arrests

Acting with numerous other state and local agencies, on Friday, Nov. 5, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office completed a multi-day operation to interdict those soliciting prostitution and committing sex crimes against children in Kerr County

According to Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha, in this operation, investigators communicated with, and were able to identify, more than 265 individuals across the region who were actively seeking prostitutes, some including arrangements involving children,

“A total of 20 suspects were arrested after communicating with officers and attempting to meet what they believed to be women, and in some cases minors, for sexual conduct,” Leitha said. “Participating in the undercover operation were officers and assets from the Kerr County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division and Special Operations Division, in conjunction with the Kerrville Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff's Office Organized Crime Unit, Texas Dept. of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division, and the Texas Dept. of Public Safety Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Division.”

Arrested in this operation were:

• Sheridan Lance Rippy, 66, of Kerrville, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Rippy was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

• Kenneth Wayne Hatcher, 58, of Kerrville, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Hatcher was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

• Donald Eugene Kampfhenkel, 66, of Kerrville, on one count of solicitation of prostitution, and one count of unlawful carrying of a weapon. Kampfhenkel was booked into the Kerr County Jail. Bond has not been set.

• Oscar Leonides Herrera, 38, of Kerrville, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Herrera was booked into the Kerr County Jail. Bond has not been set.

• Chad Frederick Shannon, 37, of Bryan, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Shannon was booked into the Kerr County Jail. Bond has not been set.

• Joel Morin, Jr., 41, of San Antonio, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Morin was booked into the Kerr County Jail. Bond has not been set.

• Jimmie Alcorta, Jr., 50, of Kerrville, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Alcorta was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

• Matthew Ryan Carr, 38, of Fredericksburg, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Carr was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

• Octavio Rico Viramontes, 38, of San Antonio, on one count of solicitation of prostitution, and one count of possession of 4-200 gm. of a controlled substance, PG1, (Methamphetamine). Viramontes was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $27,500 bond.

• Steven Ray King, 61, of Boerne, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. King was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $7,500 bond.

• Christopher Scott Jony, 52, of La Vernia, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Jony was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $7,500 bond.

• Christopher Daniel Berry, 37, of Stockdale, on one count of solicitation of prostitution, one count of manufacture or delivery of 4-200 gm. of a controlled substance, PG 1 (methamphetamine), one count of unlawful carrying of a weapon, and possession of less than 2 oz. of marijuana. Berry was booked into the Kerr County Jail. Bond has not been set.

• Nicholas Silva, 41, of San Antonio, on one count of solicitation of prostitution, and one count of online solicitation of a minor. Silva was booked into the Kerr County Jail. Bond has not been set.

• Sam Junior Son, 41, of San Antonio, on one count of solicitation of prostitution, and one count of online solicitation of a minor. Son was booked into the Kerr County Jail. Bond has not been set.

• Emmett Logan Brown, 41, of San Antonio, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Brown was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $7,500 bond.

• Alan Anthony Martin, 59, of Spring Branch, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Martin was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $7,500 bond.

• William Franklin Gadberry, 43, of New Braunfels, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Gadberry was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $7,500 bond.

• Bao V Tran, 31, of San Antonio, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Tran was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $7,500 bond.

• Christopher Daniel Walker, 41, of San Antonio, on one count of solicitation of prostitution. Walker was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $7,500 bond.

• Paz Joaquin Martinez, 44, of San Antonio, on one count of solicitation of prostitution, and one count of manufacture or delivery of less than 1 gm. of a controlled substance, PG 1 (methamphetamine). Martinez was booked into the Kerr County Jail on a $15,000 bond.

Additional charges may be added as this investigation continues. As in all criminal cases, charges may be added or modified prior to trial, and all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

“This operation represents a big win for the safety of our community, in Kerr County and the region,” said Sheriff Larry Leitha. “Once again, our Criminal Investigation Division led a strong effort with invaluable support from our interagency partners.”

“As evidenced through interviews and contraband seized in this operation, prostitution is part of a larger picture of criminal activity, including the drug trade and child victimization. Human smuggling, sex trafficking, and prostitution are crimes that support each other, and we’re working hard on all fronts to stop them,” said Leitha.

Leitha said this operation was paramount in the state and county's initiative to proactively combat human trafficking and sex trafficking.

The information and intelligence gathered from this operation will open more avenues of investigation to recover victims of human trafficking, he added

“The Kerr County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank our inter-agency partners at the state and local level for their outstanding contributions. Through their professionalism and collaboration, this operation was successful. More than a dozen officers participated in this operation, from many areas of law enforcement,” Leitha said.

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