LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (WAVE) – Several Kentucky teenagers caught up in a human trafficking ring are free and police say they have the adults responsible behind bars.
Ivan Deleon, Jeana Kaufman, and Renae Barr faced a judge Wednesday.
They are the adults charged with human trafficking and promoting prostitution out of “OHM Tranquility” in Louisville.
Louisville Metro Police say they were advertising the girls on the internet with phone numbers and pictures.
“You can pick up the phone call and set up an appointment with that particular girl,” said Sergeant Andre Bottoms.
Bottoms said these rings are hard to clamp down on because they know authorities are monitoring.
“They are very worried about the police so it makes it tough when you try to do undercover operations,” said Bottoms.
According to LMPD, OHM Tranquility had been operational for a month. Neighbors say there was always something suspicious about a massage parlor in an industrial area.
“It was just kind of weird,” one neighbor said. “It’s just bad that people prey on minors and children.”
Police said they received complaints about the business and that is what tipped them off.
“We would conduct surveillance for a couple hours and it was two or three people coming in an hour if not more,” said Bottoms.
Metro police said Deleon had owned another store that had recently closed near Bowman Field. As a result of the investigation, officers say they learned Deleon was preparing to open another storefront in the Portland area soon.
LMPD said a woman was cited for agreeing to a sexual act with an undercover officer.
Detectives say they confiscated cameras and computers from the business. The minor girls are back home with their parents now, detectives say.