Waukesha woman indicted after over 14 years of human trafficking

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Human trafficking in the suburbs and a Waukesha woman is at the center of it. The U.S. Attorney's office says she held five victims against their will over a period of 14 years.

One of the victims is a child. News of the human trafficking arrest is startling to women who live in the same apartment building.

"It was pretty scary because it doesn't happen here," said one unnamed neighbor.

This neighbor, who asked to be anonymous, watched this shocking sight out her suburban window, as the FBI advanced on Kimberly Drive to arrest Colette Amanda Mahan.

"And I saw the FBI and they had their battering rams and their guns and it was a lot," said the unnamed neighbor.

Neighbors describe Mahan as one who kept to herself, but say she often had out-of-state visitors.

"A lot of Illinois plate visitors, always at the back door, couple times a week. Looking back it's alarming but when I seen it, it wasn't," said the unnamed neighbor.

According to the indictment, "Pimpin' Amanda" or "Amanda Chase", as she was known, started this in 2004, traveling across state lines with victims, knowing use of force, fraud and coercion would be used to cause those victims to engage in sex acts.

"And female traffickers can use being a female to their advantage to being able to recruit other victims because they can relate to them. They can relate to struggling in school or struggling with boyfriends or a breakup, but also they present as a mother figure," said Melania Brostowitz, Fight to End Exploitation executive director.

The indictment says four adults and one child endured the abuse anywhere from two months to as long as five years, and they were trafficked to 12 other states. Neighbors can't believe their children were living so close by.

"This is a very nice neighborhood. There are children here," said Daniel Andride, one neighbor.

"I definitely fear for them being out here. I don't trust I guess the area as much as I used to trust it," said another woman in the building who also wished to remain anonymous.

"The trafficker is gonna go where the buyers are and the buyers are overwhelmingly middle-aged white males who have a college education, they're married and they have kids," said Brostowitz, Fight to End Exploitaion executive director.

Colette Mahan is being held in the Waukesha Count Jail. There is a human trafficking hotline, which can be found here. More information on the Fight to End Exploitation can be found here.

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