Friday, February 27, 2004

Holy crap. From Mouseplanet:

When Walt Disney complained about seedy tourist traps sprouting up around Disneyland, he probably meant tacky souvenir shops. A slightly different kind of seediness came to light recently, however, when a police sting operation netted a prostitution ring operating out of an Econo Lodge across the street from Disneyland. Police were tipped off to the brothel by three women, who came forward after being held against their will because they were fed up with being threatened by the head of the ring. The women were illegal immigrants from Mexico, lured to the U.S. with promises of housecleaning jobs, then coerced into the trade by the ringleader, who threatened to tell the women's families of what they were doing.

Maria de la Luz Menjivar has been charged with running “a house of ill fame,” a felony charge of pandering and a misdemeanor charge of running a prostitution ring, and may be prosecuted by the federal government for smuggling. The women who were held against their will and who came forward, are being treated as victims, and are expected to get visas so they may apply for legal residency. According to police, Menjivar was also running another brothel out of the Anaheim Maingate Inn a year ago.

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