Det. Joseph Scaramucci works remotely, alongside a company, to track down human trafficking suspects and victims through research and data collected.
WACO, Texas — Historically the Super Bowl is known to be the biggest human trafficking event in the world, but there isn’t actually consistent data to prove that.
However, there is a company working along with several former and current law enforcement officers, including a detective in McLennan County, who are working to infuse data into the conversation and stop the illegal act.
They’re working on the ground and also remotely to track down human trafficking suspects and victims through research and data collected.
“I can check for certain finances that are being used, I can turn around and work through Collective Liberty with all their artificial intelligence to scour the internet for those particular people,” said Detective Joseph Scaramucci with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office.
Working alongside Collective Liberty, a company that collects data and intel specifically on human trafficking, to deliver intel reports to law enforcement in Los Angeles, California, where Super Bowl LVI was played.
In the intel packet they provide contains things like advertisements for commercial sex, identities of traffickers and identities of victims. Law enforcement in LA would then choose to turn the intel into cases or not.
“Here’s all the elements of your offense,” Scaramucci added. “Here’s this person just bragging about all the tracking that they’re doing and everything that they do, go forth and conquer that.”
Scaramucci has worked with Collective Liberty in other events like last year’s Super Bowl in Tampa, as well as the MLB All Star game in Denver this year.
The McLennan County detective says the overwhelming majority of intel reports they have shared with law enforcement in previous big sporting events have resulted in some kind of arrest or recovery of trafficking victims.
Scaramucci and Rochelle Keyhan, the CEO of Collective Liberty, are working to provide some clarity about the super bowl being the biggest trafficking event in the world.
“We do know trafficking is happening every single day and all of these cities, and when a ton of tourists come in there’s the potential for more exploitation both on labor and sex trafficking,” Keyhan explained.
But, the data is all over the place and there isn’t enough to say the Super Bowl is in face the biggest human trafficking event in a year.
Collective Liberty shared a report with 6 News that shows data over the last five Super Bowls and how inconsistent is it. They have seen advertisements for commercial sex increasing around the game in some years, but others where it isn’t as high.
Scaramucci and Keyhan say this type of work can’t do alone, but they do it to put a stop to trafficking and send a strong message.
“I think it’s a unique area of criminal justice where there’s a lot of collaboration that doesn’t necessarily exist in the other areas, and it just makes every case stronger,” Keyhan said.
“It definitely helps strengthen relationships throughout the job but then it also ensures that bad guys are held accountable,” Scaramucci added.
Last year, Keyhan says two of their cases they shared with law enforcement led to federal indictments.