Investigators believe a 48-year-old woman was running a brothel from a Gwinnett County apartment.
Lorys Marisol Padilla allegedly used the Internet to lure customers to the Norcross-area apartment, according to arrest warrants obtained by Channel 2 Action News. Inside, Padilla was forcing five women to work seven days a week as sex slaves, investigators said.
An undercover operation along with Homeland Security led police to the five alleged victims, and Padilla was arrested. She was charged with five felony counts of sex trafficking, five counts of pimping, and numerous charges related to running a prostitution business, Gwinnett County jail records show. Padilla was arrested Wednesday and was being held without bond Tuesday night.
Neighbors said they were shocked to learn what was allegedly happening inside the apartment, off Dawson Boulevard.
"That is really crazy actually (to) know people would actually force other people to do that," Jasmine Ramos told Channel 2.
But a spokeswoman for a faith-based agency working to fight human trafficking said it is happening more often than many realize.
"We need to make sure that people know that this is going on so they can identify it and so that they can stop it," Whitney Bexley said. "This is happening on the web where a picture is posted and people can call in."
Management at the apartment complex said it is cooperating with the investigation and has begun the eviction process.