Stephen Ellison

Three Women Arrested in Raid at Brothel in San Leandro Home

Detectives respond to neighbors tips, investigate possibility of human trafficking

Police detectives raided a brothel at a home in San Leandro on Thursday afternoon, resulting in the arrest of three women and an investigation into human trafficking, according to authorities.

After receiving a tip form neighbors, police logged onto a website frequented by "johns" and set up a meeting between an unsuspecting woman and an undercover detective, San Leandro police Lt. Chris McManus said.

"During this conversation not only did they want to make sure that our undercover detectives were not law enforcement, they finally agreed for $160 to perform sex acts," McManus said.

That woman led detectives to a home at 338 Aloha Drive, where police served a search warrant and arrested three women who tried to escape out the back.

"One of them admitted that she had come here within the past week from China, came in through the SFO airport and came to San Leandro with the intent of engaging in prostitution," McManus said.

The raid also recovered $1,500 in cash that police suspect is from illegal prostituion.

Neighbors said ever since the tenants moved into the house in August, they knew something wasn't right. So they called the police.

"It's a quiet neighborhood so we're not used to a lot of activity at night," Estela Castillo said.

But that's exactly what Castillo saw at her neighbor's house, "a lot of gentlemen, a lot of male pursuers. At first we thought maybe it was a drug issue."

A photograph from police shows a house with little furniture inside but plenty of personal items. Each room was equipped with a small mattress, some towels, a small night stand, condoms, sex lubricant and suitcases filled with women's lingerie, McManus said.

Police said the house has been red-tagged, meaning no one can live there because of several code violations.

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