DPS Special Agents head a Smith County Online Prostitution Operation Netting Several Arrests

On Tuesday, May 17, and Wednesday, May 18th, 2022, Special Agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted an online solicitation of prostitution operation that led to the arrest of eight people.

The following people were arrested for the offense of solicitation of prostitution:

45-year-old Jason Wilhelm Veihl of Canton

64-year-old Jeffrey Alan Watts of Tyler.

53-year-old Chaminda P Alwis of Tyler.

44-year-old Allen Ronald Johnson Jr of Lindale.

32-year-old David Balderas of Tyler.

23-year-old Leonardo Hernandez Rodriguez of Lovington, NM.

30-year-old Ryan Craig Burgess of Lindale.

32-year-old Chester Ray Webb of Tyler.

According to The Texas State Penal Code 43.021. SOLICITATION OF PROSTITUTION. (a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with that person or another. This charge is a state jail felony. Someone found guilty of a state jail felony can be sentenced to up to two years in jail and pay fines up to $10,000.

Investigators with the Smith County TAG (Texas Anti-Gang Unit) assisted in the investigation and apprehensions.