IN THE NEWS
Houston Nightclub Raid Reveals 'Truly Sad Things Going On' as Police Cite Trafficking Evidence
BY BENJAMIN FEARNOW ON 6/19/21 AT 12:02 PM EDT
Houston Police Department narcotics officers executed a search warrant on a westside Houston gentlemen's club Friday night, uncovering what the Harris County District Attorney's office described as "truly sad things going on."
Harris County prosecutors said they started an investigation into Houston's V Live adult entertainment and gentlemen's club after a series of drunk driving incidents were tied to the venue.
Police officers working with the narcotics division executed a search warrant Friday night on the nightclub at 6603 Harwin Drive, the Houston Chronicle reported Saturday. The manager of the V Live club was arrested after police said they uncovered illegal alcohol, drugs, and "evidence of human trafficking."
More than a dozen other people were detained at the Houston nightclub around 11.:30 p.m. and investigators said they are still working to determine if any victims present at the time are in need of assistance.
Harris County District Attorney official Sean Teare told the Chronicle that women were being trafficked out of the location.
"We do believe human trafficking has occurred at this establishment," Teare said following the Friday night bust.
Newsweek reached out to the Harris County D.A. as well as Houston police for any additional information about the nightclub bust or ongoing investigation Saturday morning.
Officers began the investigation into the V Live nightclub after multiple drunk driving incidents were allegedly tied to consumption at the venue. Several other venues in Houston, including the La Herradura nightclub in Aldine, Texas, have been accused of similar human and sex trafficking allegations in recent months. Some narcotics division police patronized the bar while undercover, authorities said.
"We've had a number of DWIs, we've had a number of serious crashes that have come out of this, which is the reason it came to our attention at first," said Teare. "Once we got in there and discovered the truly sad things that are going on, we began a much more in-depth investigation."
The V Live nightclub was shut down by authorities Saturday, and Harris County prosecutors said they are actively working to ensure that it remains closed as they continue the human trafficking investigation. The club does not have a valid liquor license, officials said.
It's unclear exactly what types of evidence Houston police uncovered that exhibit signs of human trafficking as a result of the raid.
The V Live nightclub's website describes itself as "Houston's only upscale international gentlemen's club." The club touts having exotic dancers, international dancers, Latin dancers and "all-American entertainers all under one roof."