Mister Cass won’t be getting his money.
That’s what my wife and I were thinking.
For several years, we’d been living and working part-time at a large children’s home in Tijuana. Sadly, we learned many of the young girls there that we’d come to love were in the prime target age range for kidnapping and sex slavery.
One precious family actually lived in Zona Norte, the town’s infamous red light district, near the border. The four beautiful children in the family lived and walked past the bars and brothels daily. The possibility of losing one of them was unthinkable.
We began looking for ways to help.
Eventually, we heard about a sex trafficking rescue operation working right there in town. Run by a guy named Steven Cass. What we learned about him, however, raised a lot of red flags. It definitely set off a few alarm bells. Clanging loud, too.
I know we like to believe in super heroes, but if one-half of the things we heard about this guy were true, he was unbelievable. Yet two Mexican friends we trusted said they thought he was credible. But you know what they say about things that sound too good to be true. I mean, would you believe this guy? I was extremely skeptical. So was my wife.
The story going around was this. The guy made his first million while still in college. Then, with a partner, he went on to mega millions. One year he bet and lost a cool million on a Super Bowl game. Then it gets even deeper. Purportedly, he worked ten years laundering money for drug cartels in Latin America.
Over a period of years, he’d made and lost tens of millions. Several times over. At forty, ahead once again by 20 million, he retired to a hacienda in Cuba. He owned a dozen luxury cars, several airplanes and surrounded himself with beautiful young prostitutes.
Eventually, he angered Fidel Castro by refusing to come out of retirement to do another money deal for him. Castro expropriated his bank account, all his possessions, and put him on a plane to Mexico. He arrived in Tijuana with only the clothes on his back.
Weeks later, despondent after living homeless for several days behind a San Diego hotel he took a razor blade to slit his wrists.
So now, four or five years later, we’re supposed to believe this guy turned over a new leaf? And he’s having incredible success rescuing young women and girls from sex trafficking in Mexican brothels?
Hmmm. What would you think?
Right … my thoughts exactly.
So … What to do?
Obviously, I needed to check it out. See for myself.
I got a phone number for the guy. We exchanged some emails. And eventually he pulled one of those classic Mother Teresa moves on me.
(My understanding about the grand lady was you never got a straight answer to a question. In that respect it was sort of like asking Jesus a question. Purportedly, Mother Teresa’s classic answer to most queries about her mission was always simply: “Come and see.”)
Asking Steven Cass about his operation, he said … “Come and see.”
It’s only coincidental he and I share the same name. Lucky spelling for him, though. He was likely never called ‘Step Hen’ by his grandfather.
But back to rescuing trafficking victims.
I was to learn more later about the actual rescuing ops and the vital intelligence planning that proceeds them, but for now I was being invited to visit Steven’s safe house in Rosarito. Where the rescued women and children lived.
They call it My Daughter’s House.
I cannot describe for you verbally what happened in Rosarito. Not because it’s forbidden. I just can’t talk about it. Talking about it always leaves me broken down, sobbing uncontrollably. Even now, typing this, hot tears are streaming down my face.
Thank God for pen and paper.
This is the first post in a series.
Part 2. Meeting the Girls
Part 3. Picture on the Wall. Churches that Aren’t.