Undercover sting leads to human trafficking arrests

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by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 5 at 11:10 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Neighbors are reacting to news of a city-wide prostitution bust in Louisville.

One person who was arrested is back out walking the streets, two others are still behind bars. Police say that business was so lucrative, another location was about to open where more girls would sell their bodies for sex.

LMPD says the investigation had been going on for months. If it wasn’t for the watchful eye of the public, this illegal activity may have gone unnoticed.

From outside, OHM Tranquility looks like a small, inconspicuous spa. But, inside, police say three people were running a house of prostitution. “I’m shocked, I had no idea that was going on there,” said one neighbor. Sergeant Andre Bottoms said, “They advertise on the internet, they show the girl’s picture, so if that’s what you’re interested in, you can pick up the phone, call and make an appointment for that particular girl.”

Police believe 38-year-old Ivan Javier Deleon, 40-year-old Jeana Kaufman, and 30-year-old Renae Barr ran the massage parlor, employing at least two 17-year-old girls. Officers had been tracking Deleon for awhile. “It’s kind of tough,” Sgt. Bottoms explained, “We’d been working him for awhile and he moves locations.”

Deleon had another spa on Taylorsville Road near Bowman Field. It’s a quiet neighborhood where residents tell us they’d sometimes see the girls taking breaks behind the building. “I’m disturbed,” said Angela Klemenz who lives nearby, “I didn’t know it was going to be in this area, I didn’t know we had human trafficking here in Louisville like this and I especially didn’t know it was by my house.”

But, police say it wasn’t easy to crack the case. “They’re very worried about the police, so it makes it tough when we try to do undercover operations, so they make it tough for us,” said Sgt. Bottoms. Investigators confiscated security cameras and computers during their search of the property. All three suspects are charged with Human Trafficking and Promoting Prostitution.

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