WACO, TX — The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office and the Bell County Sheriff’s Department are both featured in an episode of the upcoming series “This is Life with Lisa Ling” on CNN.
The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office works hard day in and day out to rid sex trafficking in Central Texas. Their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed and now, the head of operations along with the sheriff’s office is featured in the new show.
Head of Operations in Human Trafficking Detective Joseph Scaramucci says it’s not about the recognition of their hard work, but it’s about the importance of shining a light on what could be in our backyards.
“We’re shedding light on the illicit massage trade, that’s something that’s overlooked quite a bit. Just the fact that they’re doing that was much more important than any kind of publicity,” Detective Scaramucci said.
The episode titled “Parlor Trade” is about sex trafficking within massage parlors.
Just last December, the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office assisted in a massage parlor sting with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department. During the investigation they were able to shut down four massage parlors dealing with illicit massage trade.
Detective Scarramucci and his team have also worked hard to shut down 100% of illicit massage trade in McLennan County.
In the same episode, you’ll see Roshell Keyhan, the CEO of Collective Liberty, a national organization that trains officers and anti-trafficking actors to learn the signs of human trafficking and how to act upon it.
“The methods used for trafficking are new to most departments, and really getting a crash course in really in depth, high-level expert level practices is so important,” Keyhan said.
Collective Liberty has worked closely with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, and they were happy to work together on this project as well.
“The MCSO is one of our all-stars,” Keyhan said. “Detective Scaramucci is one of our faculty for training’s across the country, and it’s a really great partnership.”
The recognition is important on both ends, because for now, there isn’t an end to any kind of human trafficking.
“It’s important for us to know what to look for and pay attention to it because the traffickers are hiding, and we have to find them,” Keyhan said.
Detective Scaramucci also praised Lisa Ling and her team for their knowledge of illicit massage trade before filming began, saying they were very well versed on the issue.
Excited to see the episode, Detective Scaramucci stresses the importance of keeping this conversation going.
“It’s one of those crimes that are happening right in front of us and right in strip centers that families are going to and it’s just life going on around them,” Detective Scaramucci said.
The “This is Life” episode, Parlor Trade, is set to air Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. CT.