BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police announced the arrests of four people allegedly linked with human trafficking ring in southeast Baltimore. The group was targeting undocumented, Hispanic women, according to the city state’s attorney.

Police said they also rescued two women from a Hispanic brothel in the 3900 block of Mount Pleasant Avenue in Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood.

“Last week after detectives served several search warrants, two women were rescued from the location and had been placed in safe housing,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

Harrison said police were tipped off to a possible human trafficking operation earlier this year.

Police said they were tipped off by community members earlier this year that led to a three-month-long investigation in which detectives identified a brothel running out of a home on Mount Pleasant Avenue- targeting undocumented Hispanic women.

Last week, police served warrants on the home and arrested Edward Luna-Sanchez, Gladys Luna-Hernandez, Jose Arevalo and Julio Duran.

Officers also recovered $50,000 in cash, five vehicles, passports and other objects linked to human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a present-day form of modern slavery,” said Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

The two women rescued are now in safe housing. Police did not release any details about the women, including ages, to protect the victims.

Harrison has asked if anyone has any more information about this operation or human trafficking in general, to reach out to police.

When a reporter asked Harrison if the women would be deported, he said they are considered victims of a crime and will be linked with services that can help them here.

“According to our policy, we’re only enforcing criminal law,” he said, “we’re not enforcing immigration policies.”

Harrison couldn’t say the documentation status of the suspects.

Andre Downing lives right next door.

“That’s crazy to me, honestly,” Downing said. “Unbelievable. I can’t believe it. Usually, you see things and you can recognize things, but I never would’ve thought that.”

Police did say this is an open investigation, and they are working to identify possibly more victims.

They are asking if anyone has any information to contact them immediately.

Kelsey Kushner

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