Sheriff’s deputy caught on camera at local massage parlor

Former McLennan County Deputy Sheriff Stephen Johnson. (Sheriff's Office photo)
Former McLennan County Deputy Sheriff Stephen Johnson. (Sheriff's Office photo)(KWTX)
Published: Dec. 18, 2017 at 5:07 PM CST
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A now former McLennan County deputy sheriff is among 150 men who were caught on camera at two Waco massage parlor whose operator was arrested after a raids on Dec. 4 stemming from an undercover sting.

Deputy Stephen Johnson was caught on video recorded inside the massage parlors that were confiscated during the raid, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara confirmed Monday.

“We have identified one of our own who worked in this department,” McNamara said, calling the discovery “very troubling (and) very disappointing.”

“That individual no longer works here and that case will be handled like all the others,” he said.

Johnson is the sheriff’s “second or third cousin,” McNamara confirmed Monday.

The two massage parlors that authorities raided at 2625 West Waco Dr. and 2509 Washington Ave., were equipped with cameras “so the madam would be able to keep up with her girls’ activities,” McNamara said.

Men whom authorities are able to identify in the videos will face Class B misdemeanor charges, McNamara said.

“(It’s) not a big charge, but they have to live with the shame,” he said.

Chun Yang Zhang, 47, of Austin, was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity as a result of the raids.

Zhang was released from the McLennan County Jail on Dec. 9 after posting a $30,000 bond, according to jail officials.

Investigators said at least three women were working for Zhang and paid her to live at the businesses, in addition to giving her most of their earnings.

The women were handed-over to UnBound, a local group helping human trafficking victims.

All were immigrants and didn’t speak English, but through a Mandarin interpreter they told investigators they didn’t know what they were doing until they got there.