A deputy chief for a Houston-area constable’s office has been fired after his arrest Wednesday night during a prostitution sting in Montgomery County, according to local authorities.
Harris County Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap said Thursday that Precinct 5 Deputy Chief Brian Harris, a longtime law enforcement officer in Southeast Texas, had been terminated. Harris, 57, was among 14 men arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution, a felony, as part of an undercover operation Wednesday at a hotel on Interstate 45 in the Spring-Woodlands area, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
"We hold our deputies to the highest standard," Heap said in a statement released by a spokesperson. "(Harris’) termination is effective immediately."
It was not clear Thursday morning whether Harris had enlisted an attorney. An online search on the Montgomery County District Clerk website did not yield any criminal cases listing Harris as a defendant.
The arrests were made at about 8 p.m. Wednesday by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Organized Crime Unit in cooperation with the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance, according to the sheriff’s office, which did not identify the other 13 people arrested in its Thursday morning news release. The sheriff’s office said Harris remained in the county jail as of about 9 a.m. Thursday.
According to Harris’ LinkedIn page, he first worked as a police officer in Port Aransas in the late 1980s and early 1990s before a stint as a deputy for the Precinct 5 constable’s office. He later worked as a homicide detective for the Houston Police Department and also has been an instructor for the FBI National Academy as well as a public speaker, according to the LinkedIn page.
“We are sending a message that we are not going to tolerate this activity in our community,” the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said. “We will arrest and charge those who engage in this illicit act. We will also continue to identify those who have been forced into trafficking by rescuing them from their situations and connecting them with services to help with their recovery.”