Six women were rescued from several California brothels, including one hidden in a high-end apartment building, after a two-year investigation, police say.
Investigators also seized around $2 million and arrested a married couple accused of running the sex-trafficking operation in the San Francisco Bay Area, Milpitas police said in a statement.
David Davies, 57, and Larong Hu, 38, face charges including pimping and pandering and felony conspiracy, police said. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office also took part in the investigation.
Upscale apartments in a Milpitas complex with rents up to $5,000 a month housed one of the brothels, unbeknownst to neighbors, KNTV reported. The couple is accused of advertising online and forcing women from overseas to work in the brothels by seizing their passports.
Prosecutors say the couple trafficked dozens of women from China, South Korea and Eastern Europe at six brothels, rotating more than 100 women through their operation before sending them to other cities across the United States, KPIX reported.
“These women are forced to have sex with between 10 and 15 men a day,” Deputy District Attorney Patrick Vanier told KNTV. Customers arrived in half-hour intervals.
In the probe, which began in December 2019, police said they also found other brothels operated by the couple in Santa Clara County and served search warrants in San Jose and Palo Alto.
“You have a number of people coming in and out, neighbors don’t really notice,” Sharan Dhanoa of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking told KNTV.
Davies and Hu are being held on $350,000 bail, police said.
Milpitas police advised anyone who believes they are a victim of human trafficking to call 911 or the 24-Hour National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-888-373-7888 or texting 233733.