News

Six rescued, two arrested in human trafficking investigation that included Palo Alto brothel

South bay brothels were part of national network

A couple was arrested on suspicion of pimping and pandering in connection with brothels in Milpitas, Palo Alto and San Jose, according to police and prosecutors. The south bay brothels were part of a national network of commercial sex traffickers.

A brothel was identified in Palo Alto as part of a human trafficking investigation that led to Milpitas police to arrest a couple on suspicion of pimping, pandering and conspriacy on June 9, 2021. Image courtesy PhotoSpin.

The arrests of David Davies, 57, and Larong Hu, 38, conclude an investigation that started in December 2019, when a Milpitas brothel was identified by Milpitas detectives and Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office investigators.

Additional brothels were found throughout the county and search warrants were served in Milpitas, San Jose, and Palo Alto, Milpitas police said.

Six female victims of human trafficking were rescued, and $2 million was seized in the investigation. The rescued victims were provided services through Community Solutions, an organization that provides critical services for victims of human trafficking, according to police.

The couple's satellite of brothels trafficked women from China, South Korea and eastern Europe, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said Friday in a press release. Over 100 sex workers circulated through "non-descript apartments" in the county before they were taken to other U.S. cities to continue the illegal work.

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The multiagency investigation found that men would visit the apartments for 30 minutes to an hour at a time and prophylactics and other sex work paraphernalia left in the rented rooms.

Sex workers told investigators that they would see 10 to 15 men a day; the men learned about the service through online advertisements and paid Hu via Venmo or PayPal, according to the District Attorney's Office. The workers, who were prohibited from leaving the room, had their passports taken from them and had to pay for their own food and daily necessities.

One woman told investigators that she was working to pay for her mother's cancer treatment, according to prosecutors.

"People do not have the right to treat other people like pack animals," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in the release. "This County will spare no effort to track down those who exploit others for profit and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."

Davies, a tech businessman, and Hu were taken into custody in the 100 block of Tiger Lily Drive, on suspicion of crimes related to human trafficking, and are being held on $350,000 bail. They are scheduled for arraignment at the Hall of Justice in San Jose on Friday afternoon. If convicted, the couple faces time in prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security Services assisted Milpitas police and the District Attorney's Office in the investigation.

Anyone who is a victim of human trafficking, or knows someone who is, should call 911 immediately or call the 24-Hour National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. Callers can also reach the hotline by texting 233733 to initiate online chats. Human trafficking victims, whether U.S. citizens or not, are eligible for services including immigration assistance.

Additional services are also available through community and county-based programs, such as Community Solutions and South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking.

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Embarcadero Media staff contributed to this report.

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Six rescued, two arrested in human trafficking investigation that included Palo Alto brothel

South bay brothels were part of national network

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 10, 2021, 11:56 am
Updated: Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 10:38 am

A couple was arrested on suspicion of pimping and pandering in connection with brothels in Milpitas, Palo Alto and San Jose, according to police and prosecutors. The south bay brothels were part of a national network of commercial sex traffickers.

The arrests of David Davies, 57, and Larong Hu, 38, conclude an investigation that started in December 2019, when a Milpitas brothel was identified by Milpitas detectives and Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office investigators.

Additional brothels were found throughout the county and search warrants were served in Milpitas, San Jose, and Palo Alto, Milpitas police said.

Six female victims of human trafficking were rescued, and $2 million was seized in the investigation. The rescued victims were provided services through Community Solutions, an organization that provides critical services for victims of human trafficking, according to police.

The couple's satellite of brothels trafficked women from China, South Korea and eastern Europe, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said Friday in a press release. Over 100 sex workers circulated through "non-descript apartments" in the county before they were taken to other U.S. cities to continue the illegal work.

The multiagency investigation found that men would visit the apartments for 30 minutes to an hour at a time and prophylactics and other sex work paraphernalia left in the rented rooms.

Sex workers told investigators that they would see 10 to 15 men a day; the men learned about the service through online advertisements and paid Hu via Venmo or PayPal, according to the District Attorney's Office. The workers, who were prohibited from leaving the room, had their passports taken from them and had to pay for their own food and daily necessities.

One woman told investigators that she was working to pay for her mother's cancer treatment, according to prosecutors.

"People do not have the right to treat other people like pack animals," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in the release. "This County will spare no effort to track down those who exploit others for profit and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."

Davies, a tech businessman, and Hu were taken into custody in the 100 block of Tiger Lily Drive, on suspicion of crimes related to human trafficking, and are being held on $350,000 bail. They are scheduled for arraignment at the Hall of Justice in San Jose on Friday afternoon. If convicted, the couple faces time in prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security Services assisted Milpitas police and the District Attorney's Office in the investigation.

Anyone who is a victim of human trafficking, or knows someone who is, should call 911 immediately or call the 24-Hour National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. Callers can also reach the hotline by texting 233733 to initiate online chats. Human trafficking victims, whether U.S. citizens or not, are eligible for services including immigration assistance.

Additional services are also available through community and county-based programs, such as Community Solutions and South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking.

Embarcadero Media staff contributed to this report.

Comments

Optimist Pessimist Realist
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2021 at 3:09 pm
Optimist Pessimist Realist , East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 10, 2021 at 3:09 pm

Where in Palo Alto was the brothel? Reminds me of a previous brothel bust in Palo Alto that at least wasn’t human trafficking.


Efren Delgado
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2021 at 5:18 pm
Efren Delgado, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 10, 2021 at 5:18 pm

Deja Vu...reminiscent of the late 70s when the PAPD was busting massage parlors in South Palo Alto.

The cops always got their 'evidence' first...prior to making any arrests


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2021 at 5:50 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 10, 2021 at 5:50 pm

Interesting. Exactly what constitutes a brothel? I think we all think we know, but is there a legal definition? Has a house of disrepute with clients been walking in and out on a daily basis during the lockdown? If this has been going on has it been hiding as a legitimate business, perhaps an essential business?

We really deserve to know exactly what has been going on in our neighborhood, if that is where it has been happening.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jun 10, 2021 at 6:44 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jun 10, 2021 at 6:44 pm

If six female victims of human trafficking were rescued, they were probably underage girls who were forced into sexual exploitation. How sad.


Keri
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Jun 11, 2021 at 3:04 am
Keri, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2021 at 3:04 am

If you could provide a location for the Palo Alto brothel (or nearest cross-streets), we might know what to look for. So glad these women were rescued.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 11, 2021 at 7:35 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2021 at 7:35 am

Also glad they were rescued. Someone in the Crescent Park Neighborhood Assn group posted that it was next door to him but he'd had no idea and included the press release from the Milpitas police.


Mama
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 11, 2021 at 11:58 am
Mama, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2021 at 11:58 am
Optimist Pessimist Realist
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jun 11, 2021 at 1:17 pm
Optimist Pessimist Realist , East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2021 at 1:17 pm

I hope there’s a follow up article since they’re in court this afternoon. Only 350k bond? Each or together? Were their passports taken from them? I assume so. Is this location a rental or do they own it? If it’s a rental was the landlord complicit (I’d bet not)?


Christopher Johnson
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2021 at 1:50 pm
Christopher Johnson, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2021 at 1:50 pm

Human greed, exploitation, lust, and inhumanity rears its ugly head again.

And these kinds of incidents along with Ponzi schemes and premeditated murder will NEVER end as they are a part of human nature.

God's Earthly experiment is over...time for Armageddon and a new starting point.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jun 11, 2021 at 10:07 pm
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2021 at 10:07 pm

The police will never reveal where the Palo Alto brothel was. Baad publicity
for our city! My guess it was located in Cresent Park!


It.is.what.it.is
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:09 am
It.is.what.it.is, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:09 am

21 Tevis Place, across from Eleanor Pardee Park!


acs
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:15 pm
acs, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:15 pm

Just to clarify...I live next door to 21 Tevis Place. The house there was not run as a brothel. It belongs to David Davies and he was arrested there on Wednesday; he had lived there and was in the middle of remodeling. My husband posted the notice about Davies's arrest to the Crescent Park Neighborhood Assn, as "Online Name" mentioned. However, his comment that "he'd had no idea" was that he had no idea that our neighbor was involved in human trafficking. As to a brothel in Palo Alto, the only mention of Palo Alto in the June 9 press release from the Milpitas Police Department is that search warrants were served in Milpitas, San José, and Palo Alto. (And yes, the house at 21 Tevis was searched in conjunction with the arrest.) The June 11 press release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office said that Davies and Hu "managed at least six locations in the South Bay. Through these non-descript apartments in San Jose and Milpitas, they rotated more than 100 sex workers before they were sent to other US Cities to continue their usually low paid, illegal work."


Neighbor
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:22 pm
Neighbor, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:22 pm

No. There is no brothel on Tevis. It’s a small cul-de-sac and there are no people coming in and out of the house. David and his ex-wife used to live there 5+ years ago, then it was his ex-wife, and for the past year or two it’s been either David or being remodeled. News reports have stated that David and his current wife lived in Milpitas and that the brothels were in APARTMENTS in Milpitas, San Jose, and Palo Alto.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:27 pm
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:27 pm

acs, I'm assuming that HU was arrested there too since she is married to Davies. What a creepy couple! I truly hope the police throw the book at these two plus anyone else involved! Holding women hostage in exchange for sex is beyond sick!! Put their clientele in jail too!!


acs
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:37 pm
acs, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2021 at 1:37 pm

To eileen: No, I assume that Hu was arrested in Milpitas as the article states. None of us on Tevis even knew that David had remarried. When I've seen him around his house in the last couple years, he's always been alone or with the workmen doing remodeling or landscaping. I doubt Hu has ever been to the house on Tevis.


It.is.what.it.is
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2021 at 6:11 pm
It.is.what.it.is, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2021 at 6:11 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Tevis Place neighbors. I wonder if he was adding more rooms to the house. Why no mugs shots anywhere in the news? [Portion removed.]


No heat
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Jun 12, 2021 at 9:26 pm
No heat, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2021 at 9:26 pm

The Palo Alto Weekly has a very specific policy around not naming those arrested in order to limit the damage if they're not convicted.

Web Link


Dex/Covid-Homeless Survivor
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2021 at 10:57 am
Dex/Covid-Homeless Survivor, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 13, 2021 at 10:57 am

If the partners were making lots of money, they should have donated some of the proceeds to charitable and worthwhile causes/organizations.

Then their defense lawyer could defend them as generous benefactors rather than the blatant criminals they are.

Even the mob donates to the local dioceses in their locales as it is good PR.


Mabel Carlton
Registered user
another community
23 hours ago
Mabel Carlton, another community
Registered user
23 hours ago

How shameful...to capture and force young women into lives of involuntary prostitution.

The local Christian churches should unite and take any and all measures necessary to rid Palo Alto of its vile vice and depravity.


Optimist Pessimist Realist
Registered user
East Palo Alto
22 hours ago
Optimist Pessimist Realist , East Palo Alto
Registered user
22 hours ago

Love the race to reassure readers that there was no brothel at Tevis Place. Palo Alto has had brothels before and will likely have them again. Human trafficking manifests all over the place. [Portion removed due to factual inaccuracies.]


Who Are We To Judge?
Registered user
Community Center
22 hours ago
Who Are We To Judge?, Community Center
Registered user
22 hours ago
Jameson
Registered user
another community
20 hours ago
Jameson, another community
Registered user
20 hours ago

A brothel can be housed in an elaborate building or a low-key residential dwelling.

There are no mandated architectural design requirements imposed by most city planning departments.

Having been to my share of houses of ill repute both as a Viet Nam veteran and subsequent stint in the Merchant Marine, most are low key operations so as not to attract unecessary attention from either the police or local mobsters.

Brothels can often provide a relaxing and enjoyable outlet for those so inclined.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
19 hours ago
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
19 hours ago

There's a big difference between voluntary prostitution (even if it's illegal) and human trafficking -- where underaged girls and women are forced into human trafficking.

Nobody cares who/where you visited during the war, except your wife (if applicable). Society does care about women who are forced into this despicable business. Prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
19 hours ago
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
19 hours ago

Human trafficking is simply another form of kidnapping and enslavement where the women and girls are often killed or harmed if they try to escape. After the women are used up in "upscale" brothels, they're sent down to food chain to where they're servicing more men daily until they finally die.

Their passports were kept to prevent then escaping their fate. Shameful and not at like voluntary prostitution and escort services.


Optimist Pessimist Realist
Registered user
East Palo Alto
19 hours ago
Optimist Pessimist Realist , East Palo Alto
Registered user
19 hours ago

I’m sorry the residents of this nice little street are dealing with such a sordid affiliation. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Davies and Hu.

For those interested in what happened during an illegal brothel visit by former Palo Alto officers Munks and Bolanos. Munks is a Palo Alto native and former sheriff, Bolanos is the current San Mateo County sheriff. Web Link


Buford Lange
Registered user
University South
18 hours ago
Buford Lange, University South
Registered user
18 hours ago

Is Nevada the only U.S. state where prostitution is legal?

At one time gambling was limited to Atlantic City and Nevada but things have changed with the sanctioning of Indian casinos.

Can legal houses of prostitution be built on Native American lands that have recognized sovereignty?

There is much money that can be made from illicit drugs, sex, and gambling.

To legalize these activities would reduce the number of arrests and subsequent imprisonments resulting in a lower recorded crime rate.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
13 hours ago
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
13 hours ago

Buford Lange, are you suggesting we legalize prostitution so people like Hu and Davies can exploit young women! Guess what, Sex work is a degrading job, leaving women very vulnerable. There are many reasons why women become sex workers, but it is far from being an easy way to earn money; women mainly become involved as a last resort and stay out of desperation. Some women are coerced into it through a forceful or violent partner. No, I think we should ban prostitution and the continued exploitation of young girls!


Francine LaRoux
Registered user
another community
2 hours ago
Francine LaRoux, another community
Registered user
2 hours ago

Sex work is a degrading job...it is far from being an easy way to earn money; women mainly become involved as a last resort..."

Very true. My mother was a hooker and as a young child I recall coming home from school on various occasions and there would be a strange man in the house.

During the evenings, she would fix me a simple dinner and then depart for the night. Sometimes I wouldn't see her until I returned home from school the following day.

It turned out she did have a pimp who took 75% of her take and who would sometimes beat her for 'low productivity'.

We tried to escape from this brutal lifestyle on several occasions but failed as the pimp always seemed to find us at a roadside motel.

It turned out and unbeknownst to me at the time that this pimp was my biological father and he never married my mother opting instead to put her to work.

At 16, when I first learned of this scenario (following another beating he had inflicted upon my mother) I decided to take matters into my own hands.

In high school there were several youth gangs consisting of aspiring felons who were trying to further extend their reputations and sphere of influence.

And so for a modest fee of $400.00, one of them agreed to a 'contract' hit and they later found my father and beat him to a pulp. He was hospitalized for two months
which gave my mother and me adequate time to escape town and his vengeful grasp.

We eventually settled in the SF Bay Area where my mother found work on an electronics assembly line and where I completed my last year of high school.

To make a long story short, after several years of being a patrol officer, I became a detective working vice and have encountered these kinds of sordid incidents on various occasions.

It bothers me deeply and I have had to be restrained several times by my partner to prevent me from physically harming these scumbag proprietors.

After five years of vice assignments + three years of psychotherapy I have decided to retire.


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