Dallas human trafficking ring busted after months-long investigation

Dallas police and Homeland Security broke up a human trafficking ring after a months-long investigation.

Police say they were preying on women who are not from this country, promising work, but then forcing them into prostitution.

"We received outcries from two very brave victims who have come forward and talked about being forced into prostitution," said Lt. Lisette Rivera.

On Friday, Dallas police ran search and arrest warrants at an apartment complex at 5930 Arapaho Road.

Two women, Arely Lopez Guzman and Fabiola Cardenas, arrested on compelling prostitution, trafficking persons charges and more.

Lopez Guzman has bonded out of jail, but Cardenas is on an immigration hold.

Five women were rescued in three locations and authorities say they were duped into prostitution.

"There are people out there that will take advantage of those that are the most vulnerable, those that have food insecurities, housing insecurities. There are people out there looking for jobs and people will take advantage of that, so they were lured through social media for a job," Lt. Rivera said.

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Dr. Timothy Bray is director of the U.T. Dallas Institute for Urban Policy Research.

"They get caught up with a group that begins by giving them attention and making them feel valued. Over time that relationship turns and that person winds up on the weak side of a power structure," he said.

Bray is working with Dallas police to identify what leads to human trafficking.

"It’s not just a policing problem and it’s not just the courts problem. We know that many of these victims encounter you and me during the day," he said. "But we don’t know the signs, we don’t know the symptoms and we don’t raise the red flag when someone's in trouble."

Officials say that the women would likely still be held and being trafficked if they hadn’t bravely reached out.

"It is never easy to have someone to sit down with us and talk about some of the worse moments in their life unfortunately we can't move forward with an investigation unless victims come and tell us their stories," Lt. Rivera said.

RELATED: Tarrant County multi-agency operation nets 115 human trafficking arrests