HOUSTON – A Houston strip club was shut down, its manager arrested and multiple other people detained during a major sting operating late Friday, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. Friday, Houston Police Department’s Narcotics Division raided V-Live Gentleman’s Club, located at 6603 Harwin Dr, as part of an ongoing investigation into an array of illegal activities authorities said are occurring at the establishment, including illegal alcohol sales, narcotics sales and human trafficking.
A series of violent crashes and DWI arrests with ties to V-Live brought the club to the attention of investigators.
“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 Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “Once we got in there and discovered the truly sad things that are going on, we began a much more in-depth investigation.”
The club, which does not have a liquor license, has been selling alcohol illegally, said Teare. Teare said officers have also made multiple undercover drug purchases from the establishment over the course of the investigation. Authorities also believe a number of women have been trafficked from the club.
During the raid, officers arrested the club’s manager, who was charged with the delivery of a controlled substance. According to investigators, the man facilitated the delivery of a certain amount of cocaine and ecstasy to undercover officers over a period of time
Teare said future charges related to human trafficking will likely be filed against the manager.
“We’ve got a lot more investigation to do to firm up and to ensure that we have charges that are going to go forward on the human trafficking component,” said Teare.
A number of individuals were also detained at the scene. Investigators are working to determine whether some of these individuals are victims or suspects as authorities believe some people at the scene may be victims of human trafficking. Among those detained are unlicensed security guards and employees who served alcohol without a permit, Teare said.
An investigation is ongoing.
On its website, the club describes itself as “Houston’s only upscale international gentlemen’s club.”
“We have taken the best parts of a Night Club, Bikini Bar, BYOB, Hookah Lounge, Sports Bar, after hours and Gentlemen’s Club and combined them all under one roof,” the club’s website reads. “VLIVE Houston features over a hundred of the hottest international dancers; Latin, exotic and all-American entertainers Houston has to offer.”
Houston Police Department released a statement Saturday afternoon following the sting:
Late last night, after a months-long undercover investigation, members of our Narcotics Division conducted an operation at the V-Live Club on Harwin Drive. Three individuals, including the club’s manager, were arrested and guns and drugs were recovered.
We know narcotics and weapons were present in the club and we believe some female employees of the club are possible victims of human trafficking. Because this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot release further details, we work closely with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office on prosection.