Police in north Fulton County say a year-long investigation led them to a human trafficking network and prostitution operation.
Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach attended a news conference Friday held by police and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office where officials detailed the bust.
“It’s hidden in plain sight, right before our eyes,” Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis said.
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Roswell police raided four different massage parlors this week: Alpha Massage off Alpharetta Hwy and the Ease Massage, Enjoy Massage and Iris Massage off Holcomb Bridge Road.
Search warrants were also executed at the Barefoot Massage off Roswell Road in Sandy Springs and Rose Massage off Piedmont Road in northeast Atlanta.
Police said they rescued nearly two dozen young women believed to be victims of human trafficking.
“We encountered over 20 employees. They were all adults and females,” Roswell Police Chief James Conroy said.
Police believe that all six locations are linked and investigators targeted the top level people accused of running the operation. Police arrested 56-year-old Wei Cheng Huang, 41-year-old Yan Lin and 36-year-old Lin Chen.
All three face charges of racketeering, sex trafficking, and labor trafficking.
“This operation was highly coordinated between our sister cities, Fulton County and led by the City of Roswell Police Department to bite the head off the snake,” Roswell Mayor Kurt Wilson said.
The mayor, Roswell councilmembers and police were also joined by Willis, who says they are working with private victim’s advocate groups and planned ahead to get the women the help they need.
“We’ve been able to make sure they do have housing, that they’re being taken care of, that they’re safe,” Willis said.
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Police won’t say yet how the victims were controlled, how they came into the country or if they are citizens as the case is still an open and active investigation.
“This is a historic moment when you have a city coming together and saying we’re not going to have this happen,” Willis said.
Additional arrests are expected and the six locations are now temporarily closed. For the ones in Roswell, the city can permanently shut down these businesses if they get up to three convictions.
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