Slideshow: McLennan County sheriff’s office share results of sex sting operation
The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office ranked fourth in the number of arrests of sex buyers during a sex trafficking sting operation, which tied CTX with New York City.
"Our county here is 254,000 and so I think it says a lot for the effort from the Sheriff’s Office and our detectives here that they put forth to get these people off the streets,” McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.
The MCSO was one of the 30 law enforcement agencies that participated in the 13th National Johns Suppression Initiative, which aimed at targeting the demand side for human trafficking. During the entire operation, which lasted from Jan. 18 until Feb. 5, 752 people were arrested, including 723 buyers and 29 pimps or sex traffickers. Harris County and the Houston Police Department ranked first in the number of arrests as part of this operation.
The 44 suspects arrested sex buyers or “Johns” from 19 to 73 years of age at locations including, public shopping centers, homes, motels and other locations picked up by them. All of them face prostitution charges.
“We want to make McLennan County a safer place to live. We want to keep the heat turned up that maybe we have one of these stings and no one will show up. That is our goal,” McNamara said.
Among those arrested, include Jarmarl Hollman, who the Sheriff’s Office said was a pimp. In addition, Brandon Washington who used to be an assistant for the Baylor University football program lost his job after this.
MCSO has conducted seven sex trafficking stings in the past two years.
"Every walk of life is represented in these stings," McNamara said.
In October of 2016, The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office received a grant from the Department of Justice, which established Detective Joseph Scaramucci as a Human Trafficking investigator. According to the MCSO, he has worked closely with law enforcement agencies and helped identify 12 human trafficking victims. In addition $48,000 have been seized from pimps and traffickers and 16 traffickers have been arrested.
McLennan County has previously done these types of stings. Last summer they completed their largest arresting 61 people. Assistant National Director of Unbound Natalie Garnett, said stings like these are an important part of combating human trafficking.
"It draws awareness to the issue of the huge problem it gives a lot of coverage, it exposes people who have done this in the past but I think it really makes a statement both to victims and the community members that we are not okay with this happening to people," Garnett said.
The press conference will take place at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.
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