HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas – Officers took four people into custody Tuesday after conducting a search at the Foot Spa in Harker Heights. They also searched two homes and a storage locker.
“There was like a lot of officers, and they kind of swarmed the parking lot,” a local neighboring business employee said. “Harker Heights Police Department and Bell County Sheriff’s Department were also out there.”
“It’s been known that this establishment is, or was, a facility where it’s not just massages,” another neighbor added.
The three people facing felony charges are Jingning Lin, Hai Yan Zhang, and Limei Godfrey. All are also charged with at least one count of aggravated promotion of prostitution and engaging in organized criminal activity for prostitution and money laundering.
A fourth individual, Kuei Chu Chou, was arrested on misdemeanor charges – but will not face the $250,000 bond the other three suspects face.
Many of the people FOX44 News spoke with believe most of the workers were being trafficked and lived at the spa. This is due to seeing clothes dried on clotheslines behind the building, and rarely seeing the employees leave the facility.
“You can tell that they live there. Even hanging their laundry out in the back,” Unbound Global Director Susan Peters said. “You just notice they never leave. Maybe they come out to the front a little bit, but they always go back. Every once in a while, maybe one van picks them all up to take them to the grocery store, but brings them all back. So it’s a very difficult life for these women.”
If you think you see a case of human trafficking, you can call your local law enforcement or the Human Trafficking Hotline immediately.