“It is an honor to partner with law enforcement to assist in these arrests and recoveries. I pray these efforts ensure that our community is safe for our children and families,” said Karla Solomon, director of Outreach and Training at Mercy Gate. “This should send the message to those who participate in these activities that we will not tolerate the buying or selling of sex in Kerr County. Working with law enforcement, we were able to recover three individuals, two of whom are now receiving services.”
According to Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha, a total of nine suspects were arrested after communicating with officers and attempting to meet with what they believed to be women, men and in some cases minors, for sexual conduct.
“Participating in the undercover operation were officers and assets from the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Special Operations Division and Digital Forensics Unit, in conjunction with the Kerrville Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Organized Crime Unit, Texas Dept. of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division, Texas Dept. of Public Safety Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission,” Leitha said.
Leitha said his investigators worked closely with Solomon and human trafficking experts with Mercy Gate Ministries, who offered rescue and recovery to those who may have been in trafficking situations.
“Representatives from Mercy Gate also provided educational and other resources in support of this action,” Leitha said.
• Steven Douglas Gold, 65, of San Antonio, arrested on one count of solicitation of prostitution, one count of online solicitation of a minor;
• James Ryan Nunn, 49, 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);
• Marcos Augustine Herrera, 46, of Kerrville, on one count of solicitation of prostitution;
• Bennie H Lowderback, 58, of La Vernia, Texas, on one count of solicitation of prostitution;
• Casey Sean Donovan, 41, of Kerrville, on one count of solicitation of prostitution;
• Nicolas Cuellar, 31, 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);
• Terry Lynn Draffen, 68, of Fredericksburg, on one count of solicitation of prostitution;
• Adam Lee Lehmann, Jr., 42, of Kingsland, on one count of solicitation of prostitution, and;
• Christopher Miles Carter, 45, of San Antonio, on one count of solicitation of prostitution.
Leitha said additional charges may be added or modified as the investigation continues.
“Once again, our multi-agency team led a successful campaign to fight prostitution and sex trafficking in our community,” Leitha said. “The sex trade is a complex criminal underground, one that touches the drug trade, human smuggling, and many other kinds of crime. We will continue our work to intercept those who build and support an industry that victimizes hundreds of thousands every year right here in Texas. We are also very pleased to have our expanded collaboration with Mercy Gate. This problem requires both putting people in jail and rescuing those who are being coerced into this lifestyle. We are committed to working the entire problem. Being effective takes both attention from law enforcement and support for those wanting to exit this lifestyle.”
Leitha also commended his KCSO Digital Forensic Unit, who worked alongside all other team members to “deliver strong results.”
“These days, most of this activity starts and is organized online. Having the Digital Forensic Unit on-hand during the operation allowed investigators to have immediate access to digital evidence without having to wait months for results,” Leitha said.
This operation was just the latest in a campaign in support of the state and county’s initiative to proactively combat human trafficking and sex trafficking, Leitha said, adding the information and intelligence gathered from this operation will open more avenues of investigation to recover those who are being trafficked.