Area deputies try to identify, trucker, rig in human trafficking case
The McLennan County Sheriff's Office is trying to identify a trucker and the 18-wheeler he's driving in connection with a possible human trafficking case.
Deputies responded Tuesday afternoon to the Flying J Travel Center, a truck stop on South New Road, after a victim called the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
According to sheriff’s officials, the victim, a woman in her 50s from Canada, had been forced by the trucker to perform sex acts at truck stops in multiple states.
The trafficking originated in the California Bay Area and had been going on for a couple of months, officials said.
"Human trafficking regularly occurs at truck stops due to their proximity to our nation's highway system," said Joseph Scaramucci, a human trafficking detective with the McLennan County Sheriff's Office.
“It's happening at the same businesses where we stop with our families to get fuel, food, and rest."
The victim was rescued "is in a safe place," said Scaramucci.
Investigators are asking anyone who recognizes the truck, which is a white semi with purple flames, or has any suspicions human trafficking is occurring, to call the McLennan County Sheriff's Office at (254) 757-5170 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
"I would encourage everyone to stay vigilant and report suspected human trafficking to law enforcement," Scaramucci said.