Police arrest several people in connection with brothel in San Leandro home

Katie Marzullo Image
ByKatie Marzullo KGO logo
Friday, October 7, 2016
Police discover brothel inside San Leandro home
After receiving complaints regarding suspected illegal activities at a San Leandro home, police discovered a brothel was being operated inside.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- San Leandro police made several arrests at a home after getting tipped off that a brothel was operating inside the residence.

Investigators are trying to find out if this case is more than prostitution.

The home has been red-tagged after code enforcement found violations inside. It's the women who were inside that investigators are most concerned with because they could be prostitutes, or the victims of human trafficking.

Estela Castillo lives next door. She's one of several neighbors who complained to police that something suspicious was happening at 338 Aloha Drive.

"There was a lot of car activity and it was at late hours. It was start at eight o'clock, then it came to seven o'clock. You see a lot of gentlemen," Castillo said. "If you're tight with your neighbors, if you're talking to each other, things happen and we don't accept that activity."

San Leandro police started investigating. On a website known for prostitution, a detective communicated with a woman who agreed to sex for $160 and gave the Aloha Drive address. Police served a search warrant Thursday.

"Condoms, sex lubricants in each of the rooms, as well as suitcases filled with women's lingerie," said San Leandro police Lt. Robert McManus.

There were four Chinese women in the house, three of them tried to run and were taken into custody for resisting arrest. One of the women admitted she had just arrived from China with the intent to engage in prostitution.

"Maybe starting voluntarily, but typically they are then forced into the sex trade," McManus said. "They are managed by pimps and they get into something that they have absolutely no control over their own lives."

Detectives are working with the district attorney's human trafficking unit. They still need to find out who the women are, because they had no identification.