SAN JOSE (KPIX) — San Jose police said they have arrested four people for running a human trafficking operation.
According to a press release from the San Jose Police Department, six victims ranging in age from 24 to 54 are now free and are getting help from a group called Community Solutions, a founding partner of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking. A department spokesman declined an interview request.READ MORE: Lost Toddler Found with Service Dog on Fremont Street Corner
A house at 1901 S. King Road in a middle class neighborhood had a faulty motion detector and a hedge out front with a string of Christmas lights. Otherwise, it looked normal. The second property at 5656 Silver Leaf Road in San Jose also had a string of Christmas lights. Police said their investigation uncovered the operation of both houses as residential brothels.
Four people are behind bars. Police said they believe Monica “Amy” Dien Tien Ho, 47, was the madam in charge of the operation. She faces three felony charges of human trafficking, pimping and pandering.
Three other suspects also face charges associated with running a house of ill repute. San Jose police said they believe Kimberly Nguyen, 68, and Thu Thi Nguyen, 57, were the “house managers” of the illicit brothels. Richard Yoo, 40, also was jailed for a felony warrant involving an assault with a deadly weapon where a firearm was used.READ MORE: Christmas Tree At Oakland's Jack London Square Catches Fire; Arson Investigation Underway
“They can operate in a lot of different ways, they are operating in plain sight, though,” said Kim Gutierrez with Community Solutions of the brothels in residential neighborhoods. Gutierrez said she could not talk specifically about the victims in this case.
She said her organization generally helps victims connect with different resources, including free emergency shelters, food, counseling, crisis intervention services, support through the law enforcement interview process and even legal references.
Gutierrez said a lot more people are aware of human trafficking operations, which are often set up in neighborhoods.MORE NEWS: Possible Listeria Contamination Forces Recall of 230,000 Pounds of Ham, Pepperoni Products
“So it’s important for the community to know that if they do feel that something is going on or something is wrong to definitely reach out to law enforcement,” Gutierrez said.