Dojo Pizza raided in alleged human trafficking ring
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) — Federal agents, along with officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, raided Dojo Pizza on Morganford Road in connection with an alleged human trafficking ring Friday afternoon.
Police on the scene say seven girls under the age of 17 were found “housed’ in the establishment.
“What we witnessed was them kicking down doors of the church and everything, said Cleven James.”This supposed to be Dojo and a pizza joint, at the same time the community trusted that their kids go here. Parents drop them off, like a baby siting think or whatever. But they leave their kids here and to learn karate.”
Dojo Pizza, located in St. Louis’ Bevo Mill neighborhood, also offers Karate and self defense classes, as well as dance lessons, their website states. They are listed as a Non For Profit Company.
“It’s real shocking because the man, he’s been there for three to four years,” said Helen David, a business owner in the area. “The intent was that he was keeping kids out of trouble and he did karate. They did dance. They sold pizza. I bought pizza from him.”
“I would say it’s very popular with kids,” one resident near Dojo Pizza said. “I noticed girls there dressed very comfortably, booty shorts, short shorts, pajama pants, and sleeping shorts.” One resident even claims to have heard screaming coming from inside the building saying it happened about a month ago and sounded like two girls shouting “help me.”
No charges have been filed, but News 4 crews on scene saw one person being taken into custody. No other information was made immediately available.