GOOSE CREEK, SC (The Berkeley Observer) – A woman residing in this country illegally has been arrested and accused of running a prostitution business inside a Goose Creek house, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
Authorities say Maria Antonia Zavaleta-Perez, 40, who also goes by the nickname “La China,” operated a brothel inside a house located along the 100-block of Plainfield Avenue in Goose Creek. They say that the women she used as prostitutes had also entered the country illegally.
On September 19th, agents say they posed as prospective clients. According to the affidavit, Zaveleta-Perez drove one of her prostitutes to the Driftwood Apartment Complex in North Charleston. When the two women pulled up to the apartment, they were then approached by agents. Their Miranda rights were read, and they were then taken into custody. During a search, the prostitute who had accompanied Zaveleta-Perez to the apartment was found to be in possession of a black purse that contained about 15 condoms and a bottle of personal lubricant.
That same day federal agents executed a search warrant at the house in Goose Creek where they say she conducted her business. During the search, agents say they found and seized items associated with having a prostitution business, which included approximately 100 packaged condoms and several bottles of personal lubricant.
The initial investigation into Zaveleta-Perez started in July 2019. Over the course of several months, they were able to track down other prostitutes who worked for the “Goose Creek madam.”
According to the affidavit, one of the prostitutes told agents that she would pay Zaveleta-Perez between $500-800 a month to live at the house in Goose Creek.
According to agents, Zavaleta-Perez would deliver prostitutes to the location of the caller, and in some cases, customers were able to go to the house in Goose Creek for sex.
“The cost was previously $40 per female, but the price recently increased to $50.00,” agents stated.
During an interview, Zaveleta-Perez, who came to the U.S. illegally from Mexico, reportedly told agents that the money made from the male clients were split 50/50 between the prostitutes and herself.
She also told agents that she could not remember the year that she illegally entered the United States, according to the affidavit. However, about two years ago, her son was smuggled into the United States for a smuggling fee in the amount of $9,700.
In the affidavit, Zaveleta-Perez also told agents that she only worked with older girls and that her youngest prostitute had been approximately 26-years-old.
Based on the investigation, agents say they also have evidence that Zaveleta-Perez is also involved in the transportation of women across state lines for the purpose of prostitution as well as harboring illegal aliens.
Zaveleta-Perez is currently behind bars at the Charleston County Detention Center for illegally entering the country. She is scheduled to be transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshals at some point.