A Human Trafficking and Online Solicitation Operation was conducted in Midland, Texas, United States by the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division and the Midland County Sheriff’s Office on October 18, 2022. Eight Texan men were arrested.
The Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol and Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Divisions supported the operation. The goal was to target individuals soliciting prostitutes and identify and apprehend individuals suspected to be involved in human trafficking by using various websites to solicit sexual acts.
Two of the eight men arrested during the operation are Midland residents. Here is the list of the arrestees:
- Gene Powell, 57, of Gardendale, Texas
- Trey Luckey, 51, of Midland, Texas
- Wilbert Ruiz, 40, of Burleson, Texas
- Austin Barnes, 38, of Odessa, Texas
- Ronnie Dixon, 38, of Midland, Texas
- Albert Solis, 37, of Sweetwater, Texas
- Felipe De Jesus Lemus, 29, of Ben Wheeler, Texas
- Christopher Holmes, 27, of Lufkin, Texas
In June 1881, Midway Station was established in the Texas and Pacific Railway. In January 1884, it was renamed Midland because there were already other towns in Texas named Midway.
Midland became the county seat of Midland County in March 1885 and was incorporated as a city in 1906. The city is home to the George W. Bush Childhood Home, where former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush lived from 1951 to 1955.
Patrick Payton is the incumbent mayor of Midland. Actors Kathy Baker, 72, and Michael Arden, 40, were born in the city.