UPDATE: Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo who runs the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department made the following statement Friday to the media in regard to his friendship with Kirk Hooten:
“I am being asked about my friendship with former LVMPD officer Kirk Hooten. Yes, among the many friends I have on the department, Kirk is one of them. I’ve known him for many years, and I find his arrest distressing.”
“This case came about as a result of proactive police work by LVMPD detectives who became aware of social media post on November 15th reference a recent incident involving a teenage girl in the valley. That same day detectives followed up by locating the teen and her family and investigated their allegations further. As a result of that investigation, Hooten was subsequently identified and the case against him was submitted to the district attorney.”
In May of 2018 when the Baltimore Post-Examiner conducted our on-the-record recorded interview with Las Vegas Township Justice Court Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson, Tobiasson made the following comment regarding Kirk Hooten and his friendship with Joe Lombardo:
Tobiasson: I make a phone call to somebody who I know is tight with the Sheriff and I tell him I think I have something that the sheriff needs to know about.
BPE: Who was the guy that you told who told the sheriff?
Tobiasson: Kirk Hooten.
BPE: What rank is he?
Tobiasson: Right now, he works for the PPA, he’s not a sergeant or anything. He’s just best friends with the sheriff. Kirk Hooten, H-O-O-T-E-N. I don’t know what his rank is don’t think he’s promoted to anything, he’s just a friend of Joe Lombardo’s, he now works at the PPA. He‘s like Joe’s best friend.
LAS VEGAS — Retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Detective Kirk Reed Hooten, 51, was arrested and charged Thursday with one count of engaging in soliciting a child for prostitution, a felony, according to police sources who spoke to the Baltimore Post Examiner.
Clark County Detention Center records obtained by the Baltimore Post-Examiner also confirmed that Hooten was booked into the county jail on Thursday for the above charge, with a bail of $10,000.
Las Vegas Justice Court records indicate that Hooten made bail on Thursday which was posted by Brooks Brothers Bail Bonds LLC.
Justice Court records list the date of the incident as November 15, 2019.
A criminal complaint was filed on Thursday and the arrest warrant was granted by Judge Suzan Baucum.
The probable cause for Hooten’s arrest is not known at this time, nor what LVMPD unit conducted the criminal investigation.
Read the arrest report here.
The Baltimore Post-Examiner was told that Hooten retired late last year.
Hooten served in 2018 on the Executive Board as a Director with the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (LVPPA), the union that represents the rank and file of the LVMPD.
According to Hooten’s bio from the LVPPA, Hooten was hired by the LVMPD in February 1994. For the first three and a half years of his career, he worked in the Patrol Division assigned to the Southwest Area Command, Northwest Area Command, Support Services Bureau and Downtown Area Command.
In September 1997, Hooten transferred to the Vice/Narcotics Bureau where he spent almost 14 years, with a total of one year in Vice and 13 years in Narcotics. During his time in Narcotics, Hooten was assigned to Street Narcotics, the Marijuana Grow Initiative, and spent 10 years on Federal Task Forces with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). While working with the DEA, he worked multiple international cases and traveled to Belgium, Spain, Thailand, and Denmark in support of those cases.
In August 2008 Hooten was appointed to the LVPPA Board of Directors as an At-Large representative and remained in that position until accepting a position as Director of Communications in August of 2011 and later as Director of Communications and Director of Governmental affairs, remaining in that position until 2014. In 2018 Hooten returned to the LVPPA as a Director on the Executive Board.
Hooten’s wife, Cheryl Denise Hooten is currently employed as a sergeant with the LVMPD.
Sgt. Cheryl Hooten, according to one source, was at one time assigned to the LVMPD’s unit that investigates Internet crimes against children.
NRS 201.354 Engaging in prostitution or solicitation for prostitution: Criminal penalties; civil penalty; discharge and dismissal.
It is unlawful for any person to engage in prostitution or solicitation therefor, except in a licensed house of prostitution. A customer who violates subsection 1 by soliciting a child for prostitution for a first offense, is guilty of a category E felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130, and by a fine of not more than $5,000.
NRS 193.130 Categories and punishment of felonies.
A category E felony is a felony for which a court shall sentence a convicted person to imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 4 years. Upon sentencing a person who is found guilty of a category E felony, the court shall suspend the execution of the sentence and grant probation to the person upon such conditions as the court deems appropriate. Such conditions of probation may include, but are not limited to, requiring the person to serve a term of confinement of not more than 1 year in the county jail. In addition to any other penalty, the court may impose a fine of not more than $5,000, unless a greater penalty is authorized or required by statute.
Hooten’s business profile
According to Nevada Secretary of State records, Kirk Hooten formed a Limited Liability Company, KH555, on May 6, 2019. Hooten is listed as a managing member. His residence address is listed. It is not known what type of business this is. No business license could be found at the time of this story.
According to prior published reports, Las Vegas has been a hub for child sex trafficking for years.
A February 2014 Daily Mail article chronicled a Las Vegas mother’s ordeal with her 16-year old daughter who was recruited into prostitution:
You may be interested in our October 29 story, ‘EXCLUSIVE: Las Vegas Metro Police Sgt. Norm Jahn fired after ordered to ‘stop being proactive on vice crimes’ and our November 13 story, ‘Las Vegas Metro Police told ‘Back Off!’ as they watched child prostitution in progress’.
One Baltimore Post-Examiner reader from Las Vegas commented, “If you really want to get disgusted seeing the pimps work their minors stop by Wild Wild West Gambling Hall on West Tropicana in the evenings or the Budget Suites in the same area. It’s been going on for years.”
Doug authored over 135 articles on the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, more than any other single journalist in the country. He investigates stories on corruption, law enforcement and crime. Doug is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former police officer, deputy sheriff and criminal investigator. Doug spent 20 years in the hotel/casino industry as an investigator and then as Director of Security and Surveillance. He also spent a short time with the US Dept. of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration. In 1986 Doug was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. In 1992 and 1993 Doug testified in court that a sheriff’s office official and the county prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence during the 1988 trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of his wife. Doug’s testimony led to a judge’s decision to order the release of the man from prison in 1992 and awarded him a new trial, in which he was later acquitted. As a result of Doug breaking the police “blue wall of silence,” he was fired by the county sheriff. His story was featured on Inside Edition, Current Affair and CBS News’ “Street Stories with Ed Bradley”. In 1992 after losing his job, at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Doug infiltrated a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont fortune heir and his wife. Doug has been a guest on national television and radio programs speaking on the stories he now writes as an investigative journalist.