Wednesday, September 2, 2009

it does happen here

Restaurant in Woodstock

busted for running sex ring.

Federal agents said they raided a Mexican restaurant on Tuesday after reports that the owner was running a prostitution ring out of the establishment. Agents preformed a search warrant at La Cabana restaurant, located on Main Street in Woodstock, and a nearby house on Jaime Way over the weekend.

Federal agents said they had evidence that the owner of the restaurant, Mercedes Arteaga, had smuggled in illegal aliens and forced them into prostitution. There were reports that he ran the operation from La Cabana and from his home nearby. An attorney for Arteaga said that he was innocent.

On Tuesday night, there were customers coming in and out of the restaurant, and no one questioned had suspected any illegal activity.

According to the affidavits, there were only women smuggled and used for prostitution. The women came from Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

And the Federal investigators said that after-hours the restaurant changed into a brothel with an all male clientele.

According to,

The FBI was brought into the case after Woodstock police received numerous complaints about the business's after-hours activity. "Usually loud music," said Sgt. Paul Brown. "We've had disturbances that have spilled out of the restaurant into the parking lot." Sgt. Brown says most of that activity happened after midnight.

The house that is nearby on Jaime Way is owned by Arteaga and said to be where some of the women who work at the restaurant live. Neighbors have reported seeing a lot of traffic in front of the house, with cars pulling in and out of the drive way at all hours of the night and picking up Hispanic women around twelve times a day.

Federal agents have said that there are no formal arrests made yet. Woodstock police say three people were arrested as a result of outstanding warrants not connected to the "Human Smuggling" investigation.

September 2, 7:45 PMAtlanta Sex and Relationships ExaminerKrista Hadaway

This article is from the Examiner.

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