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Deputies make arrest after 4 massage parlors shut down, 10 victims rescued

Posted at 1:48 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 19:41:56-05

KILLEEN, TX — The Bell County Sheriff's Department along with the McLennan County Sheriff's Office conducted a human trafficking operation that resulted in the closure of four massage parlors.

One woman was arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. Lirong Tong is in the Hays County Jail and is being held on a $75,000 bond.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said that they shut down four parlors in three cities - Houston, Killeen and San Antonio.

In Killeen, they closed down the Sunshine Massage Parlor on 2501 SW WS Young Dr. Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange said three women were rescued from Bell County.

They said they have rescued 10 victims of human trafficking in total during this operation.

"They are lured over here with the American Dream," McNamara said. "And then they are forced into these massage parlors."

They have been investigating the parlors for the last four months. They have turned the victims over to Unbound.

They are also learning about more massage parlors throughout this investigation.

The sheriff said sex buyers have created the demand for human trafficking, and he said in a lot of ways, these buyers are just as bad as the "Johns" that sell these women.

"We are going to keep the heat up on these people," he said. "When you see how these women are living, how they are treated - it just makes you sick."

Sheriff McNamara said that the two departments are dedicated to stopping human trafficking. McNamara said that in 2014 when they started to focus on human trafficking, they were shocked when they learned what they were dealing with.

He said that the largest operation resulted in 73 arrests in three weeks. McNamara detailed numerous instances of human trafficking arrests, emphasizing how heartbreaking and dirty the business is.

In one instance, they set up an ad for an underage girl, and a man answered the ad. They arrested the man, and he bonded out on Sunday. On Monday, they arrested the same man after he answered yet another ad set up by deputies.