Bedbugs Help Bust Alleged Human Trafficking Ring in North Texas

PRINCETON — In a row of newly built homes in Princeton, no one, it seems, noticed anything strange in the quiet two-story brick house on Ginsburg Lane.

Until the bedbugs came along.

A local pest control company says it received a call to treat the home.

Upon arrival, the technician told police he was greeted by young men who showed him around the house.

In each room, he said, three to five women slept on the floor. In the open spaces of the house, he described “a large quantity of suitcases” and no furniture except folding tables and air mattresses.

Princeton police, responding to a report from the company about suspicious behavior, found 15 women living inside the home, all between the ages of 23 and 26.

Four suspects, Santhosh Katkoori, Dwaraka Gunda, Chandan Dasireddy and Anil Male, have since been arrested in connection with the investigation, all accused of human trafficking.

According to arrest records, police learned during interviews that the women were doing what they believed to be internships, learning Java or computer programming.

The affidavits say the women would apply for jobs and, once they got them, their salaries would be paid to a company run by Katkoori and Gunda, which would take a 20 percent cut.

“It’s very new for us, so we’re working on it,” Lt. Jesus Rodriguez said.

This is the first time, he said, that Princeton has worked on a case like this, and he is receiving assistance from the Department of Homeland Security, which is studying laptops, phones and forged documents seized from the house.

Police suspect it is a much larger operation, likely to claim 100 or more victims.

“And we believe they may have other homes in the area for this operation as well,” Rodriguez said.

He could not say what would happen to the victims in the case, saying that would be up to the courts.

The suspects have all been released on bail.

Katkoori has requested permission to travel around the country on business while awaiting trial and a hearing has been set for mid-July.