Updated August 25, 2022 - 10:56 pm
In a two-week stretch this summer, 196 men visited the house at Via San Rafael, often staying for less than an hour, Las Vegas police said.
With all those guys coming and going, officers got a tip that the home looked like a drug dealer’s, according to a newly released Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.
But detectives would soon allege, after spending weeks investigating, that the modest bungalow near Flamingo Road and Decatur Boulevard was being used as an illegal brothel.
Two people, Heng Van Ho and Yuxian Tian, were arrested on Aug. 17. They face charges of running a brothel, living off the earnings of prostitution, pandering, and money laundering, court records show.
The case against them began to take shape when an officer was doing a routine patrol in the Via San Rafael area on June 30. A tipster approached the cop and said they thought drug transactions might be happening at the house where all the men were stopping by. The officer, however, suspected it might be a place of prostitution.
While prostitution is legal in some Nevada counties, it is not legal in Clark County.
That same day the same tipster called the same patrol officer and notified him that a Ford F-150 pickup was just leaving the Via San Rafael home.
The officer, who was still in the neighborhood, stopped the pickup and spoke to the driver, who told the officer he had paid $200 for so-called full service.
“Full service is a term commonly used in the prostitution lifestyle in reference to oral sex and vaginal intercourse,” the investigating Metro detective wrote in the arrest report.
The pickup driver, whose name is redacted in the arrest report, said he had responded to an ad on Craigslist, the online classified site.
After several more weeks of surveillance and investigating, police watched as close to 200 men stopped by the brothel between July 7 and July 21, the arrest report said.
After determining who owned the property, officers cross-referenced a phone number associated with Ho and discovered multiple online advertisements for prostitution with Asian females, the report said.
The ads featured explicit “prostitution language” that advertised the services on offer, police said.
On July 21, when an investigator called the number, he got a text back saying he would have to pay $300 for an hour.
Police also allege that Tian and Ho, who lived at another, larger house, have been exploiting the sex workers in the brothel.
Surveillance revealed that Ho and Tian would often stop by the Via San Rafael house with groceries and household items, with the sex workers inside rarely seen exiting the home, the arrest report said.
“Based on prostitution advertisements, it is believed Ho has been exploiting and victimizing young females since at least 2016,” the arrest report alleges. “Ho drives luxury vehicles and lives in a large home while the victims of her crimes stay in the brothel all day and almost never leave.”
On Wednesday, nobody answered the door when a reporter knocked on it.
The next court date for Ho and Tian is slated for Sept. 7.
Contact Brett Clarkson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-324-6421. Follow @BrettClarkson_ on Twitter.