Anatomy of a Screw Up 2: Closing a Buffet for Jeezus
Nov 21, 2018 – It is the work of UnBound and the coordination of the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition with law enforcement, the courts and victim …
They got BIG publicity taking the crying twenty six year old out of the Vegas buffet, people who recognized her were quick to point out she was “of age” but that didn’t stop the zealots from UNBOUND from enlisting our willing Sheriff to do their bidding. He is known for “kicking down doors and arresting whores,” so let’s go do it.
Unfortunately, our PERSONS OF THE YEAR 2018, are now our uh oh, we must protect them at all costs and Parnell folks of 2019. THE CASES WERE DISMISSED, you dumbsh*ts, why should we pretend you didn’t mess it up? If Sheriff’s people didn’t screw up on their own they screwed up listening to you yet again.
Harry’s been to the Sheriff’s office in person with TWO notes from Johnny Ash that were threats. No problem.
Jay Justice, Richard Mills, Montea Stewart, and others have been to the Sheriff’s department and get nowhere but let Antioch Church call about maybe some underage shrimp replaters at the Vegas buffet, hell, we’ll move heaven and earth to make them happy.
Get real folks.
Let’s pat ourselves on the back a year in advance of the entire thing being hailed and covered up yet smelling like BULLSHIT.
Sheriff McNamara has seen that firsthand, relating one case in which sheriff’s deputies apprehended a Fort Smith, Arkansas, man who had a “circuit of travel” for trafficking from Arkansas into Central Texas.
“He would travel around and work his way around to Killeen, Fort Hood and then Waco,” McNamara said. “We caught him in Waco. He was driving in a new Lexus. I was out there on the parking out when he drove up.
When McLennan County Sheriff’s Office deputies raided the Vegas Buffet restaurant on June 1 and arrested its business operators on labor trafficking charges, it may have been the first time local residents had an inkling of the size of the trafficking problem in Central Texas.
In the middle of the chaos following the raid, translators from the nonprofit UnBound were there, speaking with undocumented workers from China and Central America, gaining information and assuring them that they were there to help.
UnBound has been at the forefront of combating sex and labor trafficking, not only in McLennan County, but throughout the state and beyond since Antioch Community Church staff member Susan Peters began the nonprofit program in 2012. The Vegas Buffet raid merely highlighted the scope of trafficking that UnBound fights.
It is the work of UnBound and the coordination of the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition with law enforcement, the courts and victim services groups that has earned the organization and others involved in the anti-trafficking fight, recognition as Waco Today’s Persons of the Year.
For Peters, creating UnBound evolved organically.
“Prior to 2012 I traveled quite a bit internationally in my job with Antioch Ministries International,” she said. “That’s when I started hearing more and more stories of human trafficking, child soldiers in Uganda, and saw human trafficking in India and Thailand. I kept thinking, “We have to do something about this.’
“Especially for me, I wanted the church to be part of the answer to stopping human trafficking. When you look at the trans-Atlantic slave trade or the Holocaust, you say, ‘Where was the church?’ For me, because I’ve given my life to building up the church, I wanted the church to be doing its best work to help stop (trafficking).”
She approached Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert about her idea, and he encouraged her to follow through on her vision.
But while Peters was thinking globally, and statistics indicate 30 million people are trafficked — or enslaved — worldwide, the need was much closer, she discovered.
“When we started UnBound, we really thought we’d do more international work,” she said. “But when we started researching how much was happening domestically within the U.S., we knew we needed to start at home.”
So from the very beginning, Peters explained, UnBound’s mission statement was to “mobilize the church and activate local communities to fight human trafficking.”
In 2015 Peters was able to start pulling together the various agencies that deal with human trafficking into a more cohesive unit with the creation of the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition, which she chairs.
The coalition has a 12-member steering committee comprised of leaders such as Sheriff Parnell McNamara, Waco Police Assistant Chief Robert Lanning, Judge Gary Coley and Barbara Wright, executive director of the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children.
The coalition began to form after UnBound’s involvement with Judge Coley of the 74th District Court and the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children, who often saw the effects of trafficking.
As judge of the 74th District Court in McLennan County, Coley was seeing children and teenagers come through his courtroom, ultimately discovering in several cases that they were being trafficked.
“I don’t see the criminal aspect of it, in terms of who’s getting arrested and who’s getting charged, as much as I see who’s getting victimized and who’s getting brought into detention,” Coley said.
As the juvenile court for McLennan County, Coley and his staff would see the kids in detention hearings and had to make decisions on whether to detain or release them.
“We were seeing a lot of kids come in as runaways, what you’d consider ‘status’ offenses, but they weren’t committing jailable crimes,” he said. “They were coming in for other issues.”
The court regularly deals with Child Protective Services cases in which the children are removed from homes because of abuse or neglect. In some cases, those children can be prime targets to be trafficked for sex.
“In the older kids we began to see some commonalities in things that were going on that they’d been trafficked,” Coley said. “We stumbled into the trafficking end of this and ultimately connected with UnBound, which, as fate would have it, was right here in our backyard.”
Coley, who is a member of the statewide Children’s Commission, said he is pleased that in the last five or six years there’s a statewide push to avoid charging those juveniles with prostitution because they are often the victims, forced into the sex trade because a pimp has control of their lives.
“The courts are trying to decriminalize those aspects of it for juveniles,” he said.
Thanks to groups like UnBound, court officials, law enforcements, educators and health professionals are being trained to see the red flags that indicate trafficking.