This story was updated at 11:10 a.m. on 2/21/19 with an email sent out to the university regarding the incident by Dr. Mark Rudin, university president.
Two individuals, including an assistant basketball coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce, were arrested in Commerce on charges of Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution Wednesday as part of larger roundup.
According to a press release from the Dallas Police Department, DPD received tips in 2018 that massage businesses around the 11000 block of Emerald Street in Dallas were engaging in illicit activities. The release goes on to state that prostitution was found to be carried out in these businesses, and they were all owned or operated by the same group.
On Wednesday, search warrants were executed at the businesses, and at residences in Lewisville and Commerce.
According to the release, Josip Maric and Yenrudee Anuson were taken into custody at a residence in the 2800 block of Bois d'Arc Street in Commerce. The warrant was executed by the Department of Public Safety, Commerce Police Department, Texas A&M University-Commerce Police Department and the Dallas Police Department.
Maric was an assistant coach on the Lion men's basketball team, and had been on the staff since the summer of 2017. A&M-Commerce Athletic Director Tim McMurray would not comment on the incident, only saying that Maric is no longer employed by the university.
The university released a statement to the Commerce Journal Wednesday night.
"Today, the Texas A&M University-Commerce Police Department cooperated in a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional investigation that included the serving of a search and arrest warrant on an employee of the university. This individual’s employment has been terminated. This is an ongoing investigation, led by another agency, thus we have no other information to share at this time," the statement said.
On Thursday morning, university President Dr. Mark Rudin sent an email to faculty, staff and students regarding the incident.
"Yesterday, the A&M-Commerce Police Department joined several Texas law enforcement agencies in the serving of a search and arrest warrant on now former Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Josip Maric. We have terminated his employment. The allegations against this person are very serious, and do not represent our campus or our athletic program," the email read.
Rudin continued in the email saying: "I recognize my responsibility to do everything in my power to ensure our campus is a safe place to live, work, teach and learn. Chief Bryan Vaughn and his team of officers are working with our partner Texas law enforcement agencies on this case. Our shared commitment to advancing our institution will remain strong as we work through this challenge."
In addition, Steven Eix was taken into custody in Lewisville, while Pornthipa Khan was taken into custody in Honolulu, Hawaii.
All four were arrested on charges of Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution.
The release goes on to say that Dallas Police Detectives also detained multiple individuals who were inside the businesses. Detectives are currently working to determine if any of those individuals are victims of trafficking. Those found to be victims of trafficking will be provided with support services and diversion opportunities.