Human trafficking discovered in Providence brothel busts - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Human trafficking discovered in Providence brothel busts

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By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

@danaRgriffin

PROVIDENCE, RI- For the last five months, police say several girls of Mexican and Guatemalan decent have been arriving weekly to work at Providence residential brothels, prostituted for about $30 an act.

The latest discovery was about two weeks ago on the first floor of a triple–decker apartment located on Dora Street.

Inside, police found two women, one engaging with a client. The so called pimp, Armando Arevalo was arrested for sex trafficking.

To gain access, men needed a special business card. It has the address and advertises cleaning services in Spanish. Men were often handed these cards in bars.

A 'for rent' sign now sits in the window where police busted this human trafficking ring. Neighbors too nervous to go on camera say they had no idea prostitution was causing all the heavy traffic on this street."

One neighbor commented, "I never really knew what was poppin' down there. Had to be something whether it was selling drugs or whatever it was because it was something going on. There were too many people in and out."

"It's crazy and I’m glad that they arrested the dude because come on, anybody's daughter could have been there. Could have been anyone I mean who's to say that my own daughter could have walked to the store and got hooked into something like that," said another neighbor.

In January, police charged another man with pandering at an apartment located on Dexter Street after an undercover officer presented a similar business card and asked how much it would cost for sex.

Homeland Security, ICE special agent, Bruce Foucart said,"If a person is a victim of crime and they are out of status, they should not feel that they cannot come to us, meaning us at Home Land Security Investigations, ICE. We want to work with that victim to make sure justice is had."

Home Land Security played a role in this bust and encourages victims of trafficking to come forward. The department often provides victims assistance to legally stay in the country.

Family Service of Rhode Island was also involved in seeking treatment for the women. They say half of sex trafficking victims go back to their abusers because they have no where else to go.

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