DPS agents arrest man in Tyler on sex trafficking charges

Kelton D. Sanders, 26
Kelton D. Sanders, 26(Smith County Judicial Records)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:45 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:47 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A man who was allegedly trafficking women for prostitution purposes against their will was booked into the Smith County Jail on an aggravated promotion of prostitution charge.

Kelton D. Sanders, 26, of Dallas, was being watched by Texas DPS special agents for alleged sex trafficking. During the investigation, the affidavit states, numerous victims were identified.

Later in the month, the agents received information that two of his alleged victims were in Tyler. The agents located current sex ads indicating that both were available in the Tyler area, so one agent posed as a buyer and called one of the women, referred to as “victim 1.” She said she was staying at a hotel in the mid-Tyler area.

The agents began surveillance of the hotel with the goal of interviewing the women, “victim 1″ and “victim 2.” The victims were seen leaving the hotel and driving away in a car with Kelton Sanders. The vehicle was stopped by a marked car, and the women were interviewed separately.

The affidavit said that both victims admitted to participating in prostitution while at the Tyler hotel.

Victim 1 had no money, but surrendered her cell phone to the agents. Sanders had $3,000 cash in his pocket.

Text messages between victim 1 and Sanders indicate that she and victim 2 were not given money, that all prostitution money was going to Sanders.

“How long til you get back? I wish you had left us with some money so we could go to the store,” victim 1 texted Sanders.

“I’m going to try to have some money for you,” she texted him another day.

“Yes, I got the money,” another text said. “$300.”

Based on this and other information and evidence gathered by the agents, including surveillance footage of the hotel, the agents believe it is clear that Sanders is trafficking the two women for compensation for prostitution services. Sanders is controlling, supervising, and investing in a prostitution enterprise that involves two prostitutes, the affidavit asserts.

The arrest warrant was signed on June 29, 2021, by Judge Jack Skeen. Surety bond was set at $300,000. Sanders was arrested and booked into the Smith County Jail on July 6, and bonded out on July 12.

The current location of the two women was not stated.

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