San Francisco couple accused of enslaving four females for sex 

click to enlarge Police seized cocaine in a South City prostitution bust last week; victims said they were forced to take drugs.
  • Police seized cocaine in a South City prostitution bust last week; victims said they were forced to take drugs.

Four female victims of ruthless alleged pimps who were busted at a South San Francisco hotel last weekend said they were deprived of food and given drugs to keep them working all night.

About 11 a.m. Saturday, officers reportedly stormed an Airport Boulevard hotel, detained two female “sex slaves” and seized cocaine, according to police and prosecutors.

The Sacramento-area females — and another two young females who were contacted in San Francisco — told investigators that at least three pimps, including a couple from San Francisco, had recruited them to be prostitutes and then pimped them out on myredbook.com. They claimed they were “repeatedly given illegal narcotics in order to keep them working all night,” police said.

Police investigators also contacted two more young females in San Francisco and were told a similar story, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Tuesday. All the victims are 17 to 20 years old.

The lead pimp also supplied food, but occasionally withheld it, according to the victims. He used food as a “tool to keep them under his thumb, to have power over them,” South City police Sgt. Bruce McPhillips said.

A hotel clerk reportedly tipped off police after noticing a man drop off two females on two consecutive days before leaving. The females were different each day, and each one booked her own hotel room, investigators said.

The hotel clerk called South City police, who detained the victims in the room and waited for their alleged pimps to return.

Sate Jones, 25, and his girlfriend, Maria Jimenez, 25, both San Francisco residents, arrived and were arrested without incident, police said. They face multiple charges, including human trafficking.

Jones and Jimenez appeared in court Tuesday but are not scheduled to enter their plea until Feb. 26. Their bail was set at $350,000.

The whereabouts of the third suspect, whose identity is not being released, were unknown as of Tuesday, McPhillips said.

Police said they located evidence that confirmed the victims’ claims, although they did not specify what it was.

“They were treated like slaves by these people,” Wagstaffe said, adding that the victims all fit the same mold: estranged from family, no place to live, no place to go.

Since last fall, Phillips said, investigators have been working more closely with hotels near the airport, where prostitution is common. Hotel workers were trained by South City police on how to spot human trafficking and prostitution, he said.

Also, Phillips said a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last year made it easier for police to obtain certain guest registry information from hotels and motels.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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