A three-year investigation has led to the arrest of two people who allegedly ran a multi-state prostitution ring centered in the Valley.
After search warrants were served at several homes in Tempe and Chandler, it was discovered 46-year-old Erik Dunham was collecting money and facilitating the prostitution of several girls brought to the United States from Thailand.
Court documents show 46-year-old Patcharin Koibuchi, from Thailand, was allegedly bringing girls to the United States to participate in the prostitution ring. The girls were reportedly promised that they would eventually be granted freedom once they covered the cost of their transfer to the U.S.
Dunham was identified and surveillance eventually led them to several properties in his name connected to the ring.
“You just feel bad about the situation and you wish that you would have known, so you could have stepped in before,” said Jason Cannell who lives right across from the Tempe apartment unit where the sex acts were allegedly happening.
“I feel very sad for the victims,” said Cannell. “I think we need to keep that in mind, that we have four ladies that were taken advantage of.”
Another neighbor who lives across the street from a home Dunham rents in Chandler did not want to give his name, but told ABC15 he saw the raid of undercover police cars swarming his cul-de-sac.
“They heard everything,” the neighbor said. “They heard cops screaming and busting down the front door.”
“I’m in shock,” said the neighbor. “Hearing that it was sex trafficking, you hear about it, but you don’t think it's across the street from you.”
Both were arrested on prostitution and money laundering charges.