Brothels Popping Up in Hispanic Neighborhoods - 8 News NOW

Brothels Popping Up in Hispanic Neighborhoods

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Miguel Barahona Miguel Barahona
Maricruz Ortiz-Guevara Maricruz Ortiz-Guevara

LAS VEGAS -- Brothels are on the rise in Hispanic neighborhoods in southern Nevada. A special unit is on the hunt to shut them down and is asking the public for help.

On Thursday, a brothel was busted near Eastern Avenue and Bonanza Road.

Metro Police found two men and four women inside the house.

Police are calling three of the women victims. A woman and a man have been arrested.

Maricruz Ortiz-Guevara and Miguel Barahona are charged with three counts of pandering and living from the earning's of prostitutes.

Director Lou Pascoe said brothels in Hispanic neighborhoods appear to be increasing.

She said some of the reasons why are language barriers, economic status, possible illegal status or the suspicion of police by those in Hispanic communities.

But Pascoe said she wants everyone to know police are asking for their help to shut these brothels down.

The primarily Hispanic neighborhood near Eastern and Bonanza was under siege on a sunny Thursday evening

"I went to the window to look out and there was SWAT trucks out there and SWAT teams telling people to come out," a witness said.

Pascoe said the real threat was what was going on inside the house.

"We are treating them as victims and the subjects have been arrested for pandering and living from the earnings of prostitutes," Pascoe said.

Pascoe said three of the women, all Hispanic, in the house are victims of pandering.

One of the women is believed to be in the country illegally.

The early stages of the investigation show they are not victims of sex trafficking and they were not being held against their will.

One woman who did not want to be identified said she saw odd things all the time.

"I thought, what are they doing over there? How come there's always cars pulling in and out of there?"

"Neighbors tell us that this part of the house that you see right here was packed with cars, especially at night, then something funny happened," Pascoe said. "Drivers started parking way down the street, giving neighbors a full view of just who was coming and going and, believe it or not, neighbors say they were regular Joes.

"The community needs to be aware of the pedestrian traffic (that) may be coming (and) going from the residence."

Pascoe wants everyone to pay attention and report potential brothels in their neighborhoods, by keeping track of who is visiting a home -- men, women -- and for how long. Do they stay for long or short periods of time and when is there activity at the house?

It was actually a tip that came from the community that brought police here.

Police ask that the community contact Crime Stoppers if a brothel is suspected.

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