Dallas police have shut down a sex-trafficking operation in a warehouse where at least 16 women were found living in a commercial building, according to police and Star-Telegram media partner WFAA-TV.
Four people including an ex-assistant basketball coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce were arrested in the sting operation conducted by Dallas police vice and narcotics officers.
Josip Maric, 42, is the former assistant basketball coach taken into custody in Commerce, according to Dallas police and The Commerce Journal. Pornthipa Kan, 54; Steven Eix, 53; and Yenrudee Anuson, 44, also were arrested.
The four face charges of aggravated promotion of prostitution.
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Federal officials along with state and local police busted the operation on Wednesday, serving search warrants at businesses in the 1100 block of Emerald Street in Dallas; the 2000 block of Whispering Cove in Lewisville and the 2800 block of Bois D’Arc Street in Commerce.
The women were discovered in the warehouse on Emerald Street in an industrial area near Stemmons Freeway and Royal Lane in Dallas. The women were put on buses and taken to safe locations, according to WFAA-TV.
Authorities began an investigation in the fall after receiving tips about a number of illicit massage businesses under the names of “Jasmine,” “Passion,” and “Blue Star/Charming.”
Detectives confirmed that prostitution was occurring at three separate businesses, and all were connected to one group of owner/operators. Authorities also believe the businesses were trafficking people.
WFAA-TV also reported the City of Dallas filed a lawsuit against New York Co., the owners of Passion and two other massage parlors involved in the sting.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and police in Dallas, Lewisville and Texas A&M University-Commerce assisted in the investigation.