Wednesday, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers conducted a series of brothel work card compliance checks of prostitutes who obtained work cards contrary to Lyon County Code and in possible violation of U.S. immigration law for the following Mound House brothels: Bunny Ranch, Kit Kat Ranch, and the Love Ranch.
This action stems from a four-month long internal investigation during which sheriff’s office prostitute registration procedures were found inadequate, a practice spanning multiple decades. Those practices include U.S. immigration law violations, foreign country human trafficking indicators, fraudulent statements, issuance of work cards prior to completing criminal history background checks, and inability to validate out-of-state and U.S. and other foreign national documents to determine identity. Corrective procedures are being developed and implemented to better align with Lyon County Code as it relates to work card registration.
In accordance with Lyon County Code, all brothel employees are required to register for a work card specific to the brothel they are employed. The sheriff’s office is required by code to conduct periodic inspections to ensure compliance of brothel employee and prostitute registration. In addition, these compliance checks ensure the medical certifications for the prostitutes are up-to-date.
According to Sheriff Al McNeil, “The discovery of U.S. immigration law violations in our legal brothel system is extremely alarming. The ability to coerce, exploit and traffic non-U.S. citizens into Lyon County by foreign criminal enterprises is going to be difficult to detect and deter by our limited capabilities and resources of foreign born applicants, which has caused us to develop better working partnerships with federal agencies to combat human trafficking efforts.
“As a result, members of the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement have been helping us to better understand the requirements and procedures for processing foreign born applicants.
“This is the first time we applied a task force of multiple agencies for a work card compliance check. We already use this approach quite successfully to conduct compliance checks in other law enforcement areas, and we will give serious consideration to using this approach with future brothel compliance checks. In addition, I want to thank the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement team for their hard work and a job well done.”