Alleged brothels busted in Louisville neighborhoods

9910 Merioneth Dr., Louisville
9910 Merioneth Dr., Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A federal grand jury has indicted nine people, including two in Louisville, on charges of operating a prostitution and brothel network.

The U.S. attorney's office says the network involves women who are illegal immigrants from Mexico. Once here, investigators say they were forced to become sex slaves.

The 15 page indictment says the network operated in Louisville and several Tennessee cities. Investigators say the nine defendants worked together moving the women from one city to another every week for more than four years. Undercover detectives busted the first brothel last week near Knoxville.

Obdulio C. Morales and Esthela Silfa Vasquez, both of Louisville, are two of the defendants named in the indictment.

Neighbors in Newburg and Jeffersontown told WAVE 3 they are shocked and disgusted.

U.S. Attorney William Killian said the suspects could spend up to 20 years in prison.

"Human trafficking is an ever-increasing problem. These charges show the vigilance and ability of the local, state and federal agencies to detect this conduct," Killian said in a statement.

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