A Mountain View man and his sister are accused of bringing immigrant families from Guatemala into the United States and forcing them into prostitution.
The pair operated out of a two-bedroom apartment in the 1900 block of Latham Street.
Detectives say Carlos Garza and Evelia Galvez brought the victims to the U.S. under false pretenses.
Once the victims arrived, they hoped to start a new life, but instead, they were used for sex and labor trafficking.
Police say Garza took advantage of the vulnerable immigrants and created a culture of fear.
According to Katie Nelson, spokesperson for the Mountain View Police Department, “A victim had stated that not only was she raped by Garza but that essentially he was bringing other men in to sleep with her and in turn, they would pay him.”
KRON4’s Gayle Ong spoke with neighbors who said they were stunned but not surprised.
Candy Cameron said, ” It just doesn’t surprise me because there are just so many strange things that go on here.”
When officers responded to the home in October, they found 12 people living in close quarters. Many of them didn’t know each other.
“They did not know where to go and they did not know who to talk to” Nelson said. “This is a delicate process and our detectives realized pretty quickly this was a case of human trafficking.”
Garza was arrested on Dec. 20 on suspicion of multiple counts of human trafficking. His sister was arrested later that evening on suspicion of accessory to a crime and intimidation of a victim.
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