Things get a little more serious on the FORTitude podcast today. Our guest is an undercover police officer working in the sex traffic unit. He shares a real look into what it’s like to combat sex trafficking in Fort Worth. They dig into what it really looks like and why it’s so hard to really help the victims of these crimes. This is a real-life look into what it’s like to do this work in Fort Worth. It’s a hard topic, but worth a listen.
Welcome back to fortitude folks. I’m JW my co host Brinton Payne, BP. Normally, we like to do fun stuff around here. Our guests normally make us laugh. They’re very interesting. Today’s guest is no exception. But today’s a little more serious mood. And you’re but you’re about to find out why are due to the extreme nature since nature of this show and our next guest occupation we’ve been asked to conceal his identity to protect him and face only in his work. This man, an officer in the human trafficking unit of the fourth Police Department, his name’s Wayne Menzies. He’s a former Marine, served his time, left Marines after 911 he relisted he was so moved by what happened reenlist into the Marine Corps for another three years. So that’s a huge deal in itself. After that he joined the police department here in Fort Worth, where he served for 14. Wayne, welcome to the show, my friend. Thank you very much. Yes,
I started your applause early way after the 911 building back in. Thank you. Thanks for being here. So tell us the the 911 stuff because you were out of the Marines. And then you went back in. So tell us a little bit about that? Well, I was
in the Marine Corps. And back in the 80s, and then four years active duty. And then since I’ve been here on the department, in the last 19 years, I re enlisted back in 2010 went back to the Marine Corps, because I wanted to go to Afghanistan. Since 911, was a moving issue for me. So anyway, I got my deployment and finish my time out. And here I am. That’s great.
Currently, you’re with the human trafficking unit for police department. Tell tell us and tell us who don’t know, what is human trafficking.
So human trafficking is when a person recruits, transports provides or obtains an other person through force fraud, or coercion for the purposes of commercial sex or labor services. The only caveat to that is, is that when a minor is trafficked, there’s no requirement for force fraud or coercion because they’re too young to consent.
So who, who does this? You know, this has become, like bigger and bigger. We like when we were younger, we didn’t hear about this, you know, when our parents sent us out to play like, this was not a thing. So how did this come about? And who does it?
Well, this has been going on for ever. Yeah, people have always been forced into, especially women, of course, forced into commercial sex. It’s just that, you know, you know, finally, you know, as a nation, and we decided to do something about it. And, you know, and that’s some laws to be able to deal with that. And so after that came the states, right? Yeah. So then the states started making laws about it. And we, here in fourth PD, we start our human trafficking unit. Out of my old unit when I was in vice, my partner was an another officer, we’re the first to to begin the human trafficking unit here back in 2006. Oh, wow.
Fair to say the goal and these people who do this terrible thing is money.
Yes, yes. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s it’s a multi billion dollar industry around the world around the world. Is it worse
here because we border another country?
Not necessarily. So there, there’s confusion amongst many hate to say even police officers, and a difference between when it comes to the difference between human trafficking and smuggling. So smuggling is a crime against the border. And human trafficking is crime against a person right. Okay. So you hear a lot these days, a lot of super important people saying trafficking, you know what, the issue that’s going on across the border, well, you can be trafficked if you’re smuggled, but smuggling is not traffic is separate, separate sex. issue? Yes. Yeah. So it’s worse here because of, you know, the quarter. Right? We are on the 35. Quarter. Yeah. And so, you know, just like drugs, we have a huge problem with drugs because of what’s going on, you know, coming up, you know, up and down. 35. Right. So that’s one of the issues, I should say. Okay.
Is there a correlation, Wayne between drug trafficking? Do they intersect or just parallel paths?
Yeah, um, excuse me. So I find that a lot of besides a lot of our victims being forced to take drugs, a lot of guys who sell dope, they also sell girls. And a lot of guys have left the dope game, right to traffic, women, because it is more of a hidden crime, they’re not running around with, you know, a bag of dope in their car. They’ve got a girl there. It’s not as obvious that kind of thing. So,
but she can Well, let me ask this, how big is the problem? Kind of nationwide? And then how big is a problem here in the Metroplex?
So nationwide, and when we were talking offline, or I was talking about how I don’t like stats, because many different organizations come up with stats. And they tend to be different. But I would say, you know, at many minimum, there are 10s of 1000s of people being trafficked. At any given time. In this country. Yes, in this country. And, of course, I am low balling that, because I like to be careful with those things.
And then what about here in the Metroplex? Like what is it like a trafficking bust is like, what’s the one of the larger ones that you’ve been part of, or that’s happened in this area?
You know, in this area, most of them are not that big, they’re more small type operations. Most of what you see that ends up, you know, being on television about what we’re doing is, you know, a combination of a certain amount of operations, right. So, we’ll do multiple operations under a certain name. Yeah. You know, and, you know, you see those big numbers come out, but it’s from us constantly, you know, doing that instead of, you know, it being just one or one group of people doing it. Yeah.
Do the television shows that depict this stuff? Are they getting closer to reality or further?
Well, no, they’re, they’re pretty off. So. That’s the other miseducation? You know, I find that in many ways, television is the most Miss educating thing in America. Because it’s so you know, basically confuses people about what is really going on. So most people think of taken when they think about trafficking, but that’s
not what it looks like. They can one two, or I believe there’s a third, right, yeah, this?
Yeah. I love them. But, you know, that’s not reality here in America. And, you know, it’s not for me to say that it doesn’t exist. Right. Right. So because in many parts of the world, especially like in the Balkan area, there are cases like that. But here, we find more that it is a psychological type thing instead of, you know, people being snatched in white vans, you know, and because of that, mis education, we tend to get tips about white vans and stuff like that. Yeah. Oh, yeah. kind of gets crazy.
Yeah. Wait, who are the typical victims or the typical victim look like?
So that is really not that simple. Because victims, they are everyone from, you know, the poor kid, you know, in high crime neighborhood to to the kid that comes from a really nice family in Grapevine. Yeah. And the reason why that is, is is because you know, people don’t think about, you know, the fact that social media brings a lot of criminals into your home. There are so many people that people wouldn’t let into their house, but they give their kids a phone, don’t pay attention to what they’re doing. They’re on Instagram. And those bad guys that they wouldn’t let in their homes or in their homes anyway, because they’re on the phone in their, you know, 13 year old daughter’s bedroom. Wow,
let’s say that way. And so you that was one of our later questions. You’re touching on it? How do these traffickers find their victims? You mentioned social media? Is that the most common or now? Yes,
yes, it is. We’ve had cases of multiple, multiple social media sites, you know, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, all those things. And a lot of our victims are contacted through those sites, after traffickers look at their photos and, and find that it’s a good target, and they look at all the problems that they’re complaining about, you know, online and stuff. And they contact them, this girl thinks that she has an interested boyfriend, who is, you know, around her age or possibly her age, and they go out on a date, and it goes from there. So
and then do they adopt them out to date? Is that what happens like that? Or no, it’s more of a coercion, like a mental thing. Right?
Right. So it starts out, as, you know, a girlfriend boyfriend thing, and then they get, you know, typically get sexually involved. And, you know, he starts making up stuff, like, you know, you know, you can come over to my hotel, and, you know, he’ll, or house or whatever, and she’ll go visit and next thing, you know, he’s saying that stuff about, you know, he really needs to pay his bills, can she help him out? And, and then it just grows from there. It’s a it’s a slowly, you know, slow grooming of the victim?
Is it? Is there a cultural thing to it? Is it you know, in some places, it’s like, hey, look, look at me, you know? Yes.
So, cultural thing to being
owning puppet, you know? I mean, going at that a little bit, it’s kind of throughout, like, not just, typically, you know, yeah,
so, so it is, so I used to live in Chicago, and I remember the pimps and how they dress. Typically, you know, these pimps dress and these big hats and all this stuff from way back when they don’t dress like that here. But it is a very cultural thing in the black community here, and really need to get educated on it. Because like, it’s something that is looked up to it. By many, you know, you see these pimps in rap songs. A lot of these rappers are former pimps. Also. So you know, and then you have there’s a there’s a, I can’t remember the name of it. But there’s a there’s this pimp event that happens every year. Where are these pimps? They actually get, you know, trophies and they get they get awarded to be like the best pimp and all that stuff currently. Oh, yeah. So it’s been going on for years,
as the internet made it just explode. Like even
where it was shortly. Surely, the the Internet has, has made it worse. Like it has many things. But, you know, I think it’s more as it’s hard to say. So rap songs have made it worse, obviously. Because it’s, you know, glorified there. And the internet has made prostitution or trafficking worse, right, because now these girls are on, you know, Twitter, which I forgot to mention earlier. You could see them commonly on there. And so they promote themselves to make themselves look good. They make it look like it’s this big, fancy thing. And other girls get involved. And you know, and it goes from there. Yeah, yeah,
doing this under coercion from the pimp that you mentioned that they’re being forced to do this to earn money for somebody, and they’re prostituting themselves on Twitter and so Media calmly how it works?
Well, yeah, I mean, some of them are doing it on their own. But yes, some of them are on, they’re promoting themselves for the pimp. So many times, the pimps are controlling those accounts, too. So those things are happening because the pimps are putting those things on there, too. It’s not always the girl that you’re talking to, or Yeah, make those accounts, right. Yeah. Oh,
I gotta be, I gotta believe, and I’m probably I’m wrong. But social media seems to have control to do certain things. I assume they have some sort of program to identify and find some of these guys, you would think? Are there ways around the controls that Twitter might have to curb this kind of behavior? And, and think, or is it just free flowing? No stopping it?
I think the, the social media jobs can do a lot more about it. Because it’s so obvious. I mean, it’s yeah, it’s out there. There’s so many different hashtags that they use on Insta on Instagram. There are so many accounts that are obvious. You know, there’s so much porn and prostitution, human trafficking going on on these these platforms that there is no way I mean, they have algorithms for all kinds of things, and they can’t get get rid of this stuff. I don’t.
So is that one of your biggest challenges is? Well, first of all, to you in this business, this business, you know, what you’re doing? Feel like, and we’re just barely staying above this. We’re not even on this. Like, we’re like, it’s we’re constantly being pulled down. Like we can’t keep up kind of Absolutely.
It’s, it’s, it’s I can’t even put words to the magnitude of it. It’s, it’s, it’s so enormous that it is it would be impossible for all agencies in the United States to stop this thing from happening. And it’s been like that for a long time. You know, the internet is pretty much the worst thing that ever happened to victims of trafficking. And, you know, and, of course, there’s great things about the internet, but I was around doing this stuff. And vice back in 2006, where, you know, we only had a few sites doing it, you know, yeah. Oh, you know, we had Craigslist back then, before that was pressured out of the game, you know,
was that happening on Craigslist, then? Or no, is pretty legit, like product site? And I was
happening on Craigslist. Right from the beginning. Yeah. So. But, you know, it wasn’t, so it wasn’t all over the place like it is today. So many things have caused that to happen. Yeah. And, you know, I can go into that, but, you know, it’s, it just many things have have caused it to explode, including something that a lot of people don’t realize, like, Back Page was one of the worst things that ever happened to law enforcement of victims of trafficking. That what I mean, is, Back Page coming down was one of the worst things that how
that’s a site. I thought you meant, like the back page of some of these publications, you know, like, the ones where you’d see what concerts and you know, kind of the, the weeklies and stuff. Yeah, the back page was like, calm. Oh, right. No idea. Yeah, did right.
Okay, the FBI took down backpage.com. And what happened was, you know, those guys did a great job. But who knew? You know, they took it down. And so a lot of these victims began being pushed out to many different other platforms. Yeah. And it became a lot more, you know, a lot more prevalent on social media because of that. So, back in a day, Craigslist, or Backpage, you can go to back page, and you can find many more victims on there. And then you, then you can in one location today, right? So there were easier to find. And because Back Page was taken down, and they splintered off. It became an issue for us and law enforcement. And that’s not the only issue that, that that that affected us. That that’s not the only way that it affected us. It also caused a lot of these guys to say, okay, so Backpage was brought down by the FBI here in the United States, so I’m gonna move all my servers overseas, so they move their servers. Oh, that’s where they
keep their money, Wayne.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So they move their servers overseas to Europe. Yeah, they’re, you know, you can’t really send them a subpoena, you know? So it became more difficult because of the
way and how often our traffic’s people, girls, mainly, but how often are these people recovered? Or saved?
So? I can’t, I can’t really speak to that, you know, for the entire nation, but I would think that, you know, victims are recovered daily in the United States, right. So it is definitely constant effort, you know, and I think we recover a lot more victims than we hadn’t we have numbers for, because one of the problems is, is that a lot of these victims don’t outcry. So we get them, we bring them back, we know to be in traffic, but they’re like, no,
they don’t necessarily know or they don’t want to rat somebody else out, right?
This is not as easy as people think you can’t these people are not, you know, you look at a lot of these anti human trafficking videos and, and stuff that you see on TV, and, you know, they use pictures, like, you know, a girl reaching out, you know, saying Help me and all this stuff. And, you know, we don’t really like that, because it’s not what it really looks like. Yeah. It’s not like if you kidnapped a neighbor’s kid. And, you know, a day later, you go get her and she’s so happy. And, and running to the cop. It doesn’t look like that.
Because it look like you know, that hand sign thing came up recently. And he said that that taken, but does that mean that is that just a total rarity like that?
I don’t really know what you took,
you know, the tick tock, the girls was abducted by somebody, and she had a tick tock sign. That means help. I believe you’ve heard this, know what she did out the window. And her it was somebody she knew maybe a stepdad or somebody she did to somebody in the Car Next Door, Rick recognized is a call for help, called the cops. And they pulled over and got her and saved her. Right. I was that was what he was talking about.
Yeah, I haven’t. I haven’t. It’s hard for me to keep up with the news. Yeah, you got your own news problems, backed up with ads. Yeah. So it doesn’t really look like that. Typically, it is like pulling teeth getting these victims to actually outcry to be in traffic. With
when you talk about that, then do you ever. I mean, I was sitting here and listening to you. And I was like, I probably lose like, hour or two, just to worrying about life stuff, you know, a night? I got to think, how often does Wayne sleep? You know, and how do you get to sleep? Because you see just this? The worst in humanity. Right? And, and so and then you’re saying that it’s real hard to kind of resolve some of it due to where the victim is. So maybe talk about that a little bit, just kind of what gets you up in the morning and kind of keeps you going and and some of the positives if there are any in this stuff. And it’s clearly probably a challenge.
Yeah, I mean, as a police officer anyway, you see the worst things ever, you know, I mean, a couple of years of the department, you’re going to cause where people’s brains are laying on the floor, you know, so like, so I hate to see say that you become totally numb to it. And it’s not like it doesn’t affect you, but you’ve learned how to put those things aside, you know, my lack of sleep times is probably trying to go to sleep thinking about what I’m going to do the next day for some case or something. Yeah. So it affects me in that way. But you know, and so, is it like,
is that like a step ahead? Like I could get the bad guy this way? Or is it more like situational? Like if we went here like that type is more strategy kind of staying away? Yeah. Mines going like that?
Yeah, you know, you get to thinking about how to be able to find some of them have to because So, a lot are a huge amount of our victims are runaways. So that’s a that’s a massive amount of part of our our problem, right? So, you know, a lot of times I’ll get a tip on a kid, you know, that they’re being trafficked, and, you know, spend so much time doing surveillance and, you know, just being out there trying to hunt this kid down or, you know, trying to respond to her ads because that’s what I do, right? Yeah. I contact these kids from these these ads and try to get them to come in and meet with me for commercial sex. Right? Yeah. So, but so, you know, it’s all strategy, like you said, you know, trying to see what I’m going to do the next day. And, and, you know, something bothered me about, you know, something a kid said or something like that. But yeah, you know, you get, you get kind of used to it, you know, but you do take these things
real quick with those with the runaway thing, how much if you get a percentage of those kids are using or abusing drugs to like, is it just go hand in hand like, do they are they running away because of the addiction has gotten so bad at home that they’re forced to run away like it’s done there. And so that’s the cause of that runaway are?
Well, typically, like most of the kids that we deal with, they might smoke marijuana or something like that. But they usually don’t get into the hard drugs until they start being trafficked. These guys get them on dope. So that they depend on. So you know, if you’re using drugs, you know, you can’t get it at home. Yeah, you know, why would you go home when there’s your supply? Right? Like your pimp is your supply. Right? So.
So it’s almost like 100%, that the drugs are involved with this?
Yeah, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s very much involved. Most of the time, some of our victims when we get them, these teenagers will be so whacked out on dope, you know, when we recover them, that we can’t even interview? Because we need to, we need them to be stable in order for us to be able to get a good interview. Right. Yeah. So, you know, and they have a lot of mental problems, too, because a lot of their problems started at home. Mm hmm. You know, yeah. They didn’t, their problems didn’t start from trafficking. Right. Right. Most of them have a background of sexual assault, right. So they have broken homes of our them, right. So things happen to a when they’re younger, and they carry those things with them, they’re unresolved. So you know, they start running away from home. And that’s how pimps get them. Right? You, when you if you have a if your kid is, is, is, is part of a broken home, you’re more likely your kid is more likely to get into this kind of thing. Yeah.
So we’re concealing your face today, because you’re undercover. Would you talk about a little bit by by responding some of these ads is would you tell us your role in what what the police department that human trafficking unit is doing? An effort to stop this as much as you can tell us I know, most a lot of the stuff you do is highly classified, maybe you can’t share the trade secrets and catching these bad guys. But right, generally speaking, what do you what do you do in your role?
Yeah, it’s not I don’t make it make it seem fancier than it is. But it’s not really classified. It’s just that I don’t, you know, we don’t want to say everything that we do. So that people out there who do this stuff can, you know, learn our strategy, right, like you said, right. So I hope
a lot of these people aren’t watching our podcast, but yeah, they’re,
yeah, they’re, you know, there are a lot of things that, you know, I do. So I’ve, I’ve worked on the cover for 14 years. And so there are a lot of precautions that I take, that go beyond sometimes what I need to take, but I have to make sure that I do these things, just in case. So So if so if I’m to say one thing here that, you know, affects whether or not I can, you know, recover one victim from trafficking, that it’s worth it, right. Yeah. So that’s why I’m so careful about what I do. And, you know, it’s funny, because even in the police department, a lot of officers don’t understand why undercover officers are doing stuff. So like, it’s not that big of a deal. Well, you know, what, one misstep? Yeah, me can cause me to lose the ability to recover one child. And, and so for me, you know, that’s what’s most you have,
like a checklist that you go through, like on those are you just you’ve learned from the job, kind of where your boundaries are learn.
I’ve just learned from the job to be more careful than I need to be, you know, sometimes so the victims, like I said, these victims are not out there just waiting for us. And, you know, yeah, hoping the cops they actually hate us. They’re taught to hate us, right. So I forget where I was going with that. But
yeah, that’s got to be a damn hard job. You know, with like, like that and you got somebody who’s under the influence of something and then yeah, Her aren’t that excited to see you now. And yeah. So
I’m sorry, I didn’t finish answering this question. I don’t think
we go in a lot of different tangents here. There’s, there’s so much information here. It’s hard to put a color on it. Right. It’s right all over the place. But you’ve mentioned to me off the line. And before the interview you got here. Some of the big events that draw in a lot of these traffickers. Superbowl being the primary, right. And then you mentioned the Texas Motor Speedway. Yes. Race couple weeks, couple months ago, a month ago. Yes. Can you tell us about how that that worked for you guys? Is that something you can talk about? Because you had a really you had success, if that’s the right word and catching some of these guys and right from some of these girls getting them back? But
Right. Right, we have. So I don’t want to really talk about like, you know, how and when we deal with these things? Well, the only thing I’ll say is that is that is very common, that there are a lot of victims of trafficking, and you know, girls who just prostitute on their own to be in the area of big events. There’s also even the stockyard rodeo deal going on. Right? When that goes on. Right? So we do deal with those, and and try to deal with situations like that. There’s also, you know, these pimps are not become a lot more educated than they were Yeah, way back when right during the Craigslist days, right. So they actually will take their girls around the country, that sounds about task events, they will bring them from one state to the other just to be at an event in order to you know, if a Super Bowl is coming here, the amount of girls that are here from out of state, you know, is a lot more than normal, right? So they they do follow the events?
Because there’s a larger customer base is that, yes, why?
Yes. And then so, I mean, they’re just looking for customers, right? So if they’ve got a girl, they, if a pimp has multiple girls, a lot of times they’ll have them in different hotel rooms, and they won’t even know that the other one exist, right? So the girl will think that that’s her boyfriend, right? And she’s just helping them out, whatever. And he she’s been pimped out of one hotel room, right? And she thinks she’s the only one well, this guy’s got 20 Girls, and they’re all separate in different rooms, right? So those rooms have to be paid for. So you know, he needs to be able to make that money. So pimps will even like they’ve gotten so smart, where they will even like put feelers out. They will put ads in different areas of the country and not even be there and see what the responses are to those ads before they even take them there. That’s how smart they’ve gotten. Right?
Let me let me ask on industry size, what’s the most amount of cash you’ve ever grabbed somebody with?
You know, really? I can’t tell us that much. You know, it’s the bigger operations that, you know, yield that much. Cash, right. It’s the bigger pimps like, there was one up north. I’m sure y’all probably heard of it. Where he was just living in the neighborhood. He had all these girls. He was constantly having party so we kept getting complaints on it. North Fort Worth Yes.
Was it a v bar VRBO house I heard that they that like VRBO houses or big, you know, rent houses for the weekend and stuff.
Oh, this guy was staying he rented. So he rented it for for that purposes. A bigger house is up north it’s it’s up there close to I forget the name of that street. But so it was a big deal. Because one day Dallas came and they hit the house. I was getting complaints on it. And I was investigating it but I wasn’t seeing much. But Dallas had a different couple of different pieces going on. They actually had the pimp getting in trouble over there. And they’ve they got an outcry there. So they’ve they got the better evidence over there to be able to deal with it. And in the end, what it turned out to me is this guy was there was there was always fancy cars at the house, Rolls Royces, BMW, Mercedes and stuff like that. And so when they hit the house, they found out that this guy had like a team of five different girls. are five different teams of five girls, and he would send them to different parts of the country. So, you know, they had like a day or two off or whatever, and he’ll send them to a certain area, like, you know, one team will go down to, let’s say, Austin or something. So like, he’ll go, that team got it goes down there. And, you know, in those days that they’re down there to East have to bring bring back, you know, $5,000. So he’s getting, you know, like $5,000 per girl, and five girls, and he’s team and he’s got five teams, and that’s how much gas she’s pulling in a week. Right? These girls
though, said it before, some of them don’t want to be caught or want to stop it. Do they? At some point? Do they get tired of that life? And they realize that this is not okay. Or is it just a perpetual? On say,
Do I mean? A guy mean, in my experience working, you know, these types of stuff, these types of things, and even strip clubs, you know, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time in strip clubs advice, and, and, you know, wherever there is, you know, sexual, you know, promiscuity, but yeah, going on with, with women, I find that the women don’t really enjoy what they do. Right. Yeah, they’re doing it for the money, or they’re doing it because it’d be enforced to right. Fear, right, like fear based action, right? Yeah. And, and so a lot of girls that you see in strip clubs are actually victims of human trafficking. And a lot of those girls that you see there, you think they’re just dancing. A huge amount of them are actually either being trafficked or prostitutes, right. So, yeah, went off on a tangent again.
That’s good. That’s good.
I really don’t understand why. I mean, listen, I’m a guy. But why strip clubs exists? Because it just breeds that that kind of filth? And yeah, I don’t. I don’t no one’s listening to you and hearing this. There’s a problem with the porn about pornography industry in the circle. Right? Why can’t they shut that down? Is that if that were shut down? Wouldn’t that solve a huge problem?
Or would it make it rise? Like, or like, would just like the back page thing, you think shutting that down? And then it starts coming out in other places?
Well, I don’t know that it was, I think that a lot of trafficking was still exist, because a lot of the girls are victims of trafficking, but I would rather not see any strip clubs, because it kind of feeds into that whole thing. Right. And then a lot of the pimps make their girls. I mean, these girls will work for hours selling their bodies at night for the pimp, you know, or during the day, and then then you’ll send them over the trip cup to make more money. Right. So yeah, it’s it’s definitely a part of the problem and trafficking. If you go to a if you want to see something interesting, go to a strip club. Around the time of closing, right, yeah, see what the guys looked like to pick them up? You can tell Yeah, there you can tell. Yeah, you can tell. Yeah. So
I don’t know many people who are conscious enough at that time. Not under the influence? You don’t
know. I’m right. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, that’s, that’s definitely a part of our problem is, you know, our society is so sexual, and it’s only becoming worse. And so, you know, we as a people need to reel this thing in, you know, because, you know, as society changes and gets more sexual, we’re just, you know, promoting this type of thing to happen. Right. Yeah. So
is there a way to measure your successes in this? I know you said it’s overwhelming but like the sting of Texas Motor Speedway or the Super Bowl was here. You know, what, a decade ago, you grab a bunch of folks in save some girls would Is that considered success in your business?
It is, but we don’t. We don’t focus on patent our backs for this stuff at all. Because like, there’s so much that goes on. And there’s there are so many girls still out there. That it really, you know, it feels good when you know, somebody gets arrested or you put guys in jail. You know, we we did one recently where we were we got a guy that he’s up or was air traffic controller at DFW airport. And you know, it felt good to get them see once in a while you have something that makes you feel great. Yeah, no, it’s not like you’re down you know, all the time. You’re not But, you know, once in a while you’ll celebrate off of some, you know, somebody, you know, getting arrested, but I guess we? I don’t know, I don’t really look at numbers, I just take them one at a time. Yeah. And the success is like, when you feel good is when you get some of these girls in? Yeah, you know, and you recover them. There’s girls that I chased for months, you know, that kept going out there, there’s an just lost a lot of sleep over, you know, spending many nights, you know, and weekends and stuff, doing surveillance, you know, and trying to get a hold of them trying to call them in from ads, and, you know, the girl and say, come in, and it’s really not that easy. People think cuz you just watch you just go recover them. Well, we have this thing called the Constitution, right? Yeah. So, you know, I’m trying to contact them off ads? And they’ll say, Yes, I’ll come and then they cancel at the last minute. And, you know, so there’s a lot of things that like that, that, you know, are frustrating when you finally get them. Of course, you’re celebrating, you know, but
you ever have any of that come back, you know, after maybe some years of not living that way, and thank you. Have you ever had anything like that, you know, like, kind of breaking the cycle type of deal.
Um, we don’t really get to see what happened, what happens after much, but we learn it from so we work with NGOs, non governmental organizations that help us on the back end to help these these people, you know, in their recovery. And so we’ll find out from them sometimes that you know, somebody is doing good or will contact, you know, DSPs are what we call CPS, right. And they’ll say, yeah, they’re doing good. They’re doing this at any other and it really feels good when you hear those stories. Yeah, it’s Yeah, I feel better recovering the girls, and I do put the bad guys in jail. And is that I don’t like putting bad guys in jail. But I like to see success in the life of the victim. Yeah, yeah. Especially when they’re kids. Surely, you know, they’re back in school and not on drugs anymore. And you know, yeah,
there is a fair question to ask you. How many people specific people you currently searching for right now? Is there is it like Tandy, the list running list? changing every day,
I don’t really have that number for you, you know, it changes as we get tips in. And so there’s a lot of investigation that goes goes on these tips before we really even get to the point where there’s an actual case. Uh huh. You know, because a lot of our stuff is, you know, that’s why it’s important for people to educate themselves about this issue. Because if they’re half educated, a lot of a lot of people think they’re educated, you know, really, in this day and age, you don’t say when? And then, you know, we get the calls where, you know, you know, they’re a guy’s driving down the road. Yeah. And there’s a teenager in the back seat crying. So they call it in its trafficking, you know, so we get to chase our tail sometimes. Sometimes I have to, you know, spend a lot of time looking into things that it wasn’t really anything to. And that happens a lot. So yeah, we really wish the public was more educated than they really are. Yeah, about it. And, and thanks for doing. Thanks for doing this. That’s so tell us because it’s so important.
What can people in the public dude be more helpful, more vigilant?
So understanding trafficking is is is the most important thing, right? Yeah. What it is, and, um, you know, calling us when, you know, you see a situation, if it’s a live situation, and you actually see something that’s obviously trafficking, call 911. You know, if it’s something that is just suspicious to you, you know, you can contact us and, you know, order National Human Trafficking hotline that right behind you on the screen. Yeah, I had written host things down. But like I said, if it’s a, you know, situation that’s going on right now, or it’s, you know, dangerous for victim calls, you know, call 911. Steve, is the officers job to go out there, figure out what’s going on and call it and call us if You know, if they, you know, their investigation leads to a trafficking situation, right. So education is the first thing to don’t, you know, be shy to let us know what’s going on, you know? Yeah. This is the thing that takes a village, right? There aren’t enough cops, there’s never enough enough cops right in this country. So there are more citizens out there, and you have more of an ability to help with this. You know, and we do because they’re less of us. Right? Yeah. So call and let us know. And you know, so that we can handle it.
So educate yourself, speak up and take action speak up call
it job for us to do Yeah. So I can’t say all that with leaving out with and leave out that the kids that your listeners have, you know, because that’s the other part of it. Right? You got to look out for your own kids. Right. So the internet is dangerous. You know, and it’s important to always remember that there is so much danger out there, right? I’m not trying to scare anybody, well, please do the way we want this, but, but the Internet is a dangerous place. Right? So pay attention to what your kids are doing. Yeah. You know, don’t know who they’re talking to. Don’t be afraid to you know, if you can’t stop your kid, or watch what your kids are doing online, then consider taking them offline. Yeah, you know, yeah, my kids are nine and seven right? So they go and they play with their friends on Roblox and stuff like that. Right. But
robots is like a virus opener just so you know. Yeah. If your computer start crashing it’s because of Roblox just FYI. Thank you. Yeah. Sorry, Roblox people.
So So you know, they have fun on there. But they’re only allowed to talk to their friends that we know. Yeah, if somebody else contacts them, right. You don’t know them. So therefore do not respond. Like yeah, you know, so just be more involved in your kids as it pertains to their, you know, devices,
right, in general. But yeah.
Because, you know, those devices like they reach anyone anywhere at any time, you know, so like, just pay more attention to your kids and what they’re doing because social media is, it is, is great for many things, but it’s also a place where evil lies. Yeah, it’s important not to forget, there was
a story a couple years ago that went kind of viral around Tarrant County, maybe the Metroplex in general, but a couple older middle aged couple excuse me, were walk around Ridge Mall, mall, back windows up and running more or less. We’re looking for kids and grabbing them in this story. They fall the kid out to the car, grabbed it from his parent threw him in the car was gone. I don’t know why. I don’t know if you remember this story. But everybody that we know was talking about it. Oh, don’t be careful, rigid more and more. We don’t know if it’s true or not. But you hear a lot of crazy things. I guess. Do you remember the story at all? Because it seemed to make a lot of headway in this town.
I think we I remember, we’ve had a lot of really unfounded things that happened, you know, with rich mall mall and other malls. And in the city,
reason I asked you, Wayne is that we see signs in the airport, you know about trafficking, right around? Are these kids being taken out of country? Is that Is that happening? You know,
I can’t really speak to that. Because we’ve never had a situation like that. What I will tell you is that it’s important for it to be there because a lot of times these girls are traveling across state lines, right? Their pimp of course, you know, a lot of it is is flying. I would say that when they travel with them. Probably most of the time that you know they’re driving or whatever, but oh, it’s important for him to be there. But I can’t I can’t really speak to them. Yeah, get out of the country. That’s not something that I’ve really heard much about at all.
Fair enough. The occupation you’re in. Is it sustainable? Can you do this for a long period of time? Do you find yourself retiring? At some point?
You got to be close came on this show.
So, yeah, you know, I met 19 years, so I think I can hold on for a little while. Yeah, it’s it’s a tough profession to be in, in general law enforcement and being in it, you know, for 25 years, and some of these guys, do. We just have someone retire at 36 years. That’s just insanity to me. But yeah, you know, and, and I will always love this job. I really don’t ever want to leave this job. You know, because I love, you know, protecting people helping people and stuff like that. I think it just, I think for a lot of cops, like it gets to the point where, you know, it just gets too stressful. And then you got to get back to real life, and kind of shed all that you’ve carried on your shoulders for so many years, you know, because you carry it, you know? But yeah, I, I think I’ll make it.
We’re so glad it before we get you go, is there any stories that of your career doing this, that really stand out as far as doing something magnificent? Or just maybe the craziest operation sting has ever gone down?
Yeah, share with us? Yeah, you know, I was thinking about that at home, it ain’t no. And in the office, and, you know, my, I think my brain so clouded with so many operations over the last, you know, 14 years of, you know, working on the cover this, it’s really hard for me to kind of pull some of those stories up. It’s definitely a lot of funny ones. But, you know, advice, but I think, you know, probably the, the trafficking case that probably sticks with me the most is, is a 13 year old that we got out of a hotel in Irving. She was having to, you know, sleep with, you know, 2030 guys a day. You know, it these girls work seven days a week, right? She started being trafficked when she was 12. And she suffered some course internal injuries from that it’s not normal for her to be, you know, doing that kind of thing at, you know, 1213 years old, but she was really messed up really high on drugs, you know. And these, these kids are like, they’re like feral cats, when you get them. Like, they really are, like, kind of like, release. It’s hard to say it this way, because it sounds bad, but kind of like wild animals in a way, right? Because they’re there. So just imagine, really, like a really bad, wild, crazy teenager on drugs. Yeah, you know, not to any fault of their own. But on top of that, all the trauma, you know, that they suffer from, you know, that began, you know, most of the time even before they start being trafficked. Right. So, we’ve had cases where parents traffic their kids, right? Grief. So, you know, we’ve had cases where, you know, some of these kids will go out. So a lot of our kids, they learn real quick, these young girls, they learn real quick, you know, because the world is so sexualized, and a kids are so sexualized, you know, all this sexting stuff that goes on, you know, a young girl realizes what’s important, you know, what seems to be important to the world, right? That she looks good. And, you know, these boys, what they want from her the pictures and all these things. And so she started. She started her trafficking situation started with her putting herself online. So she was making money doing this stuff on our own, and our mom found out and she just imagined, you know, what, as a parent, walk into your kid and said, I know what you’re doing after you grab their phone and look at it. But she said, I know what you’re doing. But she gives her her phone back, and then leaves her and then later on says, you know, hits her up for money here and there, man. So now, it’s not important to her that her kid at 15 is out there selling her body, but she hits her up for money. You know, so it’s a really screwed up world. I mean, you know, a lot of it is familial. You know, in that case, right there, you know, we even The parent told the detective that, yeah, know what she was doing, you know. And the brother, her brother knew, too. And they all got angry at us, because we’re, you know, getting involved in their business. Her brother said, she’s 15, she can do what she wants, why can’t she do what she wants? 15 years old, right? So, you know, these are the things that we deal with. But
it’s, we had another girl that she’s such a sad case, the first time we got her, she was screaming in the office so loud in the interview room that she, you know, the captain came from the other side of the other side of the building to come see what was going on. Because she was so high on dope, and was strong such a fit. And so, you know, we recovered her and then, you know, unfortunately, a lot of these cases, you know, didn’t say earlier, these girls actually go right back to their trafficker. Yeah. So one of the important things, which I wish should, you know, could change is that we can, you know, keep a hold of these kids and find a way, you know, within the law, like to change things to where we could actually be able to keep these kids for their own safety, right? Because what happens very often is they get put in some of these put in placement in places where they don’t stop them from leaving, right? We have organizations here. We put them in there, and they just walk right out. Yeah, they’re not allowed to stop them. So they constantly run away, and they’ll go right back to the pimp get traffic come back, we’ll recover them to go back and get traffic again, because of, you know, this thing called trauma bond, right. So they bond with their trafficker. And they really believe all these lies, too, that he’s told that their life’s gonna be better and that he loves her. So what does she do? She runs right back to her boyfriend. Yeah. So
well, you have a really tough job. And we try to in the show on a higher note. So, um, you know, what we, what we do ask our guests at times his family aside, you know, what the best day of your life is? Or has been? And you can be anything? That’s a tough one. Yeah, it is. Yeah, talking about work, or you could be anything, it could be anything. That, that that any way you want to answer? No, that’s a really hard one. I can see going back back to, um, it’s whatever. And if you don’t have one, we can take this out. It’s i It’s whichever.
I didn’t know, it was the best day of my life. Right. At the time, right. I was excited. But in 1988. In August, I think it was the 16th. I took a plane from my country to America. And Belize. Yes. And I came to America and I hit ground that I had to have Miami in Miami International Airport. And it was the beginning of a very beautiful thing that led me to where I am today. And having a wonderful wife and you know, being able to have a house in America and being able to have a good job. Have a have a you know, I mean, my kids are great. My wife’s great and America is, you know, it is the best thing that happened to me. Besides Jesus Christ Himself, right? That is awesome.
Well, Officer Menzies, we appreciate your time. We’re great for you and people like you. We wish you all the successes in the world in this regard. Don’t ever stop. Thank you. Take them all down. You can hear us more importantly, FW on social media. Thank you for joining us, truly grateful for this education.
Thank you. Thank