MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — **The video above was published in March 2022 and features Detective Joseph Scaramucci.**
On Tuesday, McLennan County Sheriff's Detective Joseph Scaramucci was honored with the "Light the Way End Human Trafficking" award due to his ongoing efforts and achievements in ending human trafficking.
Scaramucci was nominated by Collective Libery CEO Rochelle Keyhan. She submitted a three-page nomination back in March.
In the nomination, she mentions how Scaramucci created a Human Trafficking Unit in 2014 for McLennan County. She said since then, Scaramucci helped lead investigations where more than 550 sex buyers were arrested, along with 155 people involved in human trafficking and related offenses. She also said he and others in the unit were able to identify 265 trafficking victims.
"Many of the traffickers and sex buyers sold and attempted to purchase sexual access to minors," she wrote.
Keyhan also noted how Scaramucci's unit is victim-centered, trauma-informed and one of the only local units that investigate labor trafficking cases. Under his leadership, massage parlors promoting trafficking were eliminated locally, as well as multiple types of sex traffickers, especially those who focus on trafficking minors.
"These investigations were strong, survivors were supported and empowered and offenders were the center of their investigative inquiry. They are truly leaders for the entire nation," she wrote.
The First Light the Way to End Human Trafficking Award was given in 2019 and it highlights those with "outstanding" contributions toward the advancement of human rights and anti-trafficking initiatives.
"The award is symbolized by a crystal star. Human trafficking is a dark issue and stellar work in the fight against human trafficking shines bright like a star in a dark sky. The darker the night, the brighter the star shines," the Collective Library's website says.
Regarding the award, Scaramucci wrote on Facebook: "Beyond excited to receive the 2022 Light The Way - End Human Trafficking Award this morning from DFPS. To hear the names of some of the other nominees was very humbling, and I’m proud to be in the fight with them."