Prostitution bust near school

January 10, 2008 6:36:38 AM PST
There was a prostitution bust right across the street from a park and elementary school in southwest Houston, but investigators say this could be more than just a house of prostitution. Vice officers tell us they had been watching this house for at least a month. They went in and now six accused prostitutes and their pimps are in jail.

While the houses on Triola Lane look like those in any other established Houston neighborhood, one house was much different. Wednesday night, undercover officers herded six women out of it, all accused of being prostitutes.

"It's just shocking to me that in your own neighborhood [there's] a brothel right next door," said neighbor Lacey Williams.

Police say right next door to Williams' house and across the street from both Ed White Elementary and Crain Park, a couple was running a house of prostitution. Inside they found multiple beds, used condoms on the floor, boxes of new condoms and enough they say to make a case.

But vice officers aren't just looking at the couple for prostitution, they think they're also into human trafficking.

"They provide this house for the girls to come," said Sgt. Doug Hendrickson of the HPD vice squad. "They bring the girls here, drop them off, they work here some stay here overnight. We have two fresh in from California and this is typical of this human trafficking trade."

Police were led here responding to concerns lodged by the Sharpstown Civic Association. Neighbors had complained about lots of activity.

"I was wondering why I would see traffic, cars parked up and down the street," said neighbor Amanda Roberts. "They would just sit there."

They're glad it's now gone before the schoolchildren across the street were exposed to anything inappropriate.

"If they would have seen something, if something would have happened to the ladies out there, they would have been a witness to that," said neighbor Sontricia Boyd.

Police have not released the names of the accused ringleaders. They say they are dating and not married. The couple does not live at the house. Police say they working to file at least two charges of human trafficking against them.

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