A Milpitas couple has been charged with human trafficking on allegations they operated a network of six brothels in the South Bay that forced over 100 women from Asia and Eastern Europe into sexual servitude before sending them to other U.S. cities.
David Davies, 57, and Larong Hu, 38, were arrested Wednesday by Milpitas police. Besides human trafficking, they have been charged with pimping and pandering and money laundering. They were scheduled to be arraigned Friday and were being held without bail in the Elmwood Correctional Complex in Milpitas.
The brothel network that Davies and Hu are accused of running used three apartments each in Milpitas and San Jose that first came to the attention of Milpitas police in December 2019. A lengthy investigation ensued that would also involve the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and its investigative bureau, and the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.
“People do not have the right to treat other people like pack animals,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “This county will spare no effort to track down those who exploit others for profit and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to prosecutors and police, the investigation determined that men learned about the reported brothels through online ads and paid with smartphone apps for 30-minute and one-hour appointments. They found that the sex workers, all women, came from China, South Korea and Eastern Europe, often had their passports taken from them, were usually low paid, and were not allowed to leave the properties for days at a time.
Authorities identified at least 100 women they say were rotated through the apartments before they were sent to other cities. After police broke up the operation this week, many of the women were offered or given support services from the county-based nonprofit Community Solutions.
Detectives this week served search warrants in Milpitas, San Jose and Palo Alto. Police said they rescued six women and seized nearly $2 million in cash.
Staff writer Jason Green contributed to this report.
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