A joint, eight-month investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division, FBI and Texarkana, Texas, police into human trafficking has resulted in the arrest of a 63-year-old Texarkana man.
Kenneth D. Nelson was taken into custody Thursday according to DPS Spokeswoman Trooper Sylvia Jennings.
Jennings said Nelson faces five counts of continuous trafficking of persons involving underage girls and is being held in the Bi-State Justice Building jail.
Jennings said the allegations involve underage girls and that investigators believe more victims exist who have not been identified.
According to court records, Nelson has a pending charge of sexual assault of a child for which he was arrested June 30, 2016. Nelson has been appearing regularly before 5th District Judge Bill Miller for pre-indictment hearings in that case and was free on a $150,000 bond at the time of his arrest Thursday.
A probable cause affidavit in the older case alleges Nelson was giving a 16-year-old girl methamphetamine in exchange for sex. The girl allegedly told a forensic interviewer in May 2016 at the Children's Advocacy Center in Texarkana that Nelson first tried to earn her trust by buying her a hat and a shirt and telling her that, "he was there for her," the affidavit states.
The girl allegedly told investigators she received, "marijuana (aka Koosh), Xanax bars, and alcohol from Nelson and later methamphetamine. The girl allegedly reported that sex with Nelson occurred in a room of Nelson's "trap house" in the 1300 block of Lee Street in Texarkana, Texas.
Lee allegedly gave the girl two grams of methamphetamine in exchange for sexual encounters.
"She advised that sometimes she would tell him to stop because it was hurting and she couldn't do it anymore. The victim said that he would get mad," the affidavit states. "She stated that he told her that they are not going to tell anyone because he could go away for a long time."
Sexual assault of a child is punishable by two to 20 years in prison. Continuous trafficking of persons is described in the Texas penal code as occurring under circumstances including when a child is forced to participate in prostitution or becomes a victim of sexual assault two or more times within a 30-day period. Continuous trafficking of persons is punishable by 25 to 99 years or life in prison.
Anyone who has information regarding a crime of this nature is asked to call the Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Investigations Division at (903) 255-5701.