Abilene police arrest 8 in undercover operation to curb human trafficking

    Dominique Yvette Criger, 32

    The Abilene Police Department arrested eight people, two men and six women, during an undercover sting to curb human trafficking in Abilene.

    The Abilene Police Department said in a news release that it will continue its "effort to put a stop to crimes involving prostitution, and crimes against women and children."

    Sergeant Jason Haak, with APD's Criminal Investigation Division said these types of crimes lead to human trafficking.

    "Our goal is to curve the human trafficking effort here in Abilene," Haak said.

    The eight people arrested are:

    Jaykumar Bhakta, 24, of Anson, is charged with online solicitation of a minor. Bhakta's bond is set at $20,000.

    Alexis Louise Garren, 26, of Buffalo Gap, is charged with prostitution. Garren was released after posting a $500 bond.

    Amber Leigh Freeman, 33, of Abilene, is charged with prostitution and possession of a dangerous drug. her bonds total more than $3,800.

    Ramona Rochell Neals, 32, of Abilene, is charged with prostitution. She was released on $750 bond.

    Dominique Yvette Criger, 32, of Clyde, is charged with prostitution. She was released on $500 bond.

    Sarah Elizabeth Soelter, 35, of Sweetwater is charged with prostitution, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana. Her bonds total $4,500.

    Jerry Wayne-Schilling Brewster, 30, of Clyde, is charged with prostitution. Brewster was released on a $1000 bond.

    Vanessa Marie Gonzales, 28, of Lubbock, is charged with prostitution. She is out of jail after posting a $750 bond.

    Haak said children are often introduced to prostitution by adults and many are targeted online.

    "We do a lot of stuff online and they all know that already," Haak said. "That’s why some of them are very cautious, but they just can’t help their urges. They’re going to take their chances."

    Haak urged parents to keep a close eye on what their kids do online.

    "If there’s something for children, these guys are in and they will find a way to get to your children," Haak said.

    The eight arrests were part of an undercover investigation that began on Thursday.

    According to police, this is an ongoing investigation and there could be additional charges.

    Haak said that they are now pursuing an investigation of possession of child pornography for Bhakta.

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