McLENNAN COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) – The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office announced in a news conference that a dozen arrests were made in a sting focusing on human trafficking and child pornography.
The conference was held at 2p.m. Wednesday at 2 p.m. to announce these results. Sheriff Parnell McNamara said the Human Trafficking Unit conducted this operation between September 26 and October 1. Twelve people were arrested on multiple charges of human trafficking and child pornography.
Sheriff McNamara says ten were arrested for attempting to purchase sex – three of which were from minors. One was arrested for human trafficking. One victim of trafficking was identified and received services from UnBound Waco. Five distribution of child pornography cases were initiated.
The Sheriff’s Office has identified Leonard Newman as having sex with two twelve-year-old girls, taping it, putting it on the Internet and trading the video for other videos of child pornography. Newman is in the McLennan County Jail with bond set at $1 million. Sheriff McNamara says five other people are involved in Newman’s case, but have not been identified.
FOX 44 News obtained the arrest affidavits for six out of eleven men. Investigators say the men all responded to an ad placed on a website known for human trafficking and exploitation. The men are accused of agreeing to pay for sexual acts.
According to investigators, Zimmerman and Duarte are charged with soliciting minors. The rest are charged with solicitation of prostitution. All of the men have since bonded out of the McLennan County Jail.
This is a developing story. FOX 44 News will have more information as it becomes available.