Brothel network tied to Yuba City apartment, FBI says
A Yuba City apartment was part of a network of brothels operated by a suspected human trafficking organization in the Central Valley, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday.
The operators advertised the brothels by handing out business cards at flea markets, according to law enforcement.
Surveillance on Jan. 2 of an apartment behind businesses at 427 Garden Highway in Yuba City revealed about six men entering the location over a two-hour period, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court in Sacramento.
The property is among five alleged brothels that also includes locations in Stockton, Fairfield, Sacramento and Chico, according to the complaint filed Jan. 15. A photograph of 427 Garden Highway is included in the complaint.
FBI agents with warrants arrived at the Yuba City location at 7 a.m. Jan. 17.
Federal and state law enforcement officers began investigating the suspected Central Valley human trafficking organization in August 2010, according to the complaint.
The complaint alleges that Roberto Urbina-Gonzalez, Everado Ibarra "Primo" Regaldo and Corina Dominquez conspired to transport and harbor illegal aliens working in brothels.
"The females working as prostitutes in the brothels are Hispanic, Spanish-speaking and the majority are from Mexico," according to the federal court filing. "The females work in a brothel for a week-long period during which time they do not leave ..."
"At the end of the week, members of the suspected human trafficking organization transport the females by car to either another brothel or to a Greyhound bus station," the complaint adds.
Women either board a bus, frequently bound for southern California or are met by another member of the suspected trafficking organization and driven to another brothel, according to the federal court filing.
Business owners near the Yuba City house said earlier that agents, when they served the warrants, mistakenly broke open doors to JT Louis Auto Sales, which has been closed for two years, and an auto repair business next door at 427 B Garden Highway. The owners said an agent provided a phone number — for the FBI's legal division — to call and be reimbursed the damages.
The FBI had declined to comment.
The owner of the closed JT Louis business had said he owns the apartment in the rear of the building and rented the site to two women in their 20s who had lived there about a year. He had said he didn't know what might have led to the FBI arriving with warrants to the rental.
Agustin Marin, who owns the auto repair business at 427 B Garden Highway, said Thursday that his focus is on his company and not what may have been taking place at an apartment behind the property.
"I'm not paying attention," he said. "It's a house."
Marin said he faxed to the FBI an estimate of the $1,720 cost to repair his damaged door. He said he has had to stay overnight at his business because of the broken door.
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