A series of high end apartments were transformed into brothels in the heart of Silicon Valley and the two people who prosecutors say ran it, are set to be tried on human trafficking charges.
The deputy DA said this was part three of a two-year investigation where dozens of women are brought in from overseas and forced into sex labor. And neighbors say they had on idea what was happening in their complexes.
The latest suspects, David Davies and Larong Hu, used websites like the now-shuttered Backpage.com, and their own site called Vibe, to lure men, prosecutors said.
They say the women were trafficked in from overseas, and had their passports taken away.
“They were also told they would not get paid if they leave early,” said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Vanier. “These women are forced to have sex with between 10 and 15 men a day. They come in, in half hour intervals.”
They’re called residential brothels. Prosecutors said the suspects used several units in this high-end complex in Milpitas.
One tenant said rent can run from $4,000 to $5,000 per month.
Next door are high tech giants KLA Tencor, and Cisco Systems.
“It's terrible that it's around here,” said neighbor Diane Criado. “I’m glad police are going to do something about it. We gotta be safe around here nowadays.”
The prosecutor said this is part of a wide, national network of residential brothels and these are the 19th and 20th arrests in the Silicon Valley investigation.
An investigation that has identified 15 such local brothels so far.
Davies and Hu are named as leaders in that operation thag rotated more than 100 sex workers through cities across the nation every week.
“We believe this has been happening to dozens and dozens of women over the last few years,” said Sharan Dhanoa of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking.
The organization says it's sometimes hard to detect residential brothels in high density apartments
“You have a number of people coming in and out, neighbors don’t really notice,” said Sharan Dhanoa. “So that is something that we are seeing an increasing trend around the bay area and around the state generally.”
The prosecutor says he will keep working to shut down more brothels, and perhaps save more victims