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Police investigate alleged trafficking

by | Jul 9, 2024 | Area News, Latest

Four Collin County residents have been charged with felony human trafficking following the discovery of at least 15 young women working at a rented residence in Princeton, police said.

Princeton Police Chief James Waters said the case began in March when officers responded to a report of suspicious circumstances at a house in the 1000 block of Ginsburg Lane.

According to Fox 4 News, an arrest warrant said a pest control company contacted police after an exterminator noticed three to five young females sleeping on the floor in each room.

Princeton Police Criminal Investigations Division detectives obtained a search warrant leading to the discovery of women who were allegedly forced to work for programming companies.

“I am super proud of my CID and this investigation led by Sgt. Crawford,” Waters said.

Officers also seized laptops, cell phones, printers and fraudulent documents.

Crawford said at least 100 people were probably involved, with more than half of them being victims.

Waters said the investigation led to locations in Melissa and McKinney, as well as to adult males he said were engaged in forced labor. He said some of the workers have contacted family members and some are working with victims’ assistance programs.

“The Melissa Police Department is aware of the incident in question and would cooperate with neighboring agencies as needed,” said Melissa Communications Manager Bridget Saxton.

Waters said arrest warrants alleging the second-degree felony of trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02 of the Texas Penal Code were issued for 31-year-old Santhosh Reddy Katkoori of Melissa, his wife, 31-year-old Dwaraka Gunda, Chandan Reddy Dasireddy, 24, of Melissa and 37-year-old Anil Reddy Male of Prosper.

Collin County judicial records show Katkoori was arrested in March and Dasireddy in June. Both surrendered passports pending further court appearances.

“These workers were in the IT field and nothing about this was forced labor,” said Jeremy Rosenthal, Katkoori’s attorney.

Princeton PD has taken a “shoot-first, aim-later” approach, the attorney said.

“As a simple example, they claim to have seized computers, studied the details of the operation, then made arrests.  But they arrested Mr. Katkoori on the same day they seized computers — and only a single day after the original complaint.”

Rosenthal added, “We’re not privy to details of the investigation but I’m sure we’ll find even more inconsistencies because Santhosh is innocent of Human Trafficking. We won’t litigate this in public and we only ask people to withhold judgment.”

Waters said the investigation, involving several state and federal agencies, was continuing.

To read the full story and support your local community newspaper, subscribe to The Princeton Herald today!

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