October 13, 2021 459 PM
BREWSTER COUNTY — A deputy sheriff in Brewster County has been arrested for soliciting prostitution last week. Deputy Phillip Workman, a school resource officer at Alpine Elementary School, has been put on administrative suspension without pay by the sheriff’s office, pending the results of the ongoing investigation.
Workman was arrested on Thursday, October 7, for solicitation of prostitution after the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Pecos Police Department carried out a sting at a Best Western Hotel in the city of Pecos in Reeves County.
The Department of Public Safety was the lead on the sting, according to Pecos Police Chief Lisa Tarango. A spokesperson for DPS declined to comment on how Workman came to be the target of a sting operation and who Workman had allegedly solicited, citing the ongoing investigation. Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson said that the sting and subsequent allegation of soliciting prostition did not involve minors.
The Brewster County Sheriff’s Office announced Workman’s arrest and suspension on Facebook Monday afternoon. The department wrote, “We anticipate the investigation being concluded fairly quickly, once facts of the arrest are gathered.”
Since the arrest, Workman has bonded out of jail. DPS declined to respond on whether an arraignment date had been set.
In Texas, the charge of solicitation of prostitution is now classified as a state jail felony instead of a Class A misdemeanor. That’s due to new legislation passed this year by Texas lawmakers, which went into effect on September 1. First-time offenders can now face a maximum sentence of two years instead of one.
Texas is the only state in the country to classify that charge as a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Texas legislators this year took that action with the goal of cracking down on the “demand side” of prostitution and human trafficking in Texas.
Sheriff Dodson said Workman has been an officer with the Brewster County Sheriff’s Department for over a year. Prior to joining the sheriff’s office, Workman studied criminal justice at Sul Ross State University, according to his LinkedIn account.
In their statement on social media this week, the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office wrote, “There will be a final disposition once the investigation and proper procedures have concluded.”