Hibachi Buffet restaurant in Burlington investigated for possible human trafficking

BURLINGTON, N.C. – A complaint about human trafficking led Alcohol Law Enforcement agents to execute a search warrant at a Hibachi Buffet restaurant in Burlington.

The restaurant at 309 Huffman Mill Road on the side of an entrance to the Holly Hill Mall was searched at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Rodney Beckom, a special agent with ALE.

The restaurant was temporarily closed as authorities conducted the search.

A home in the 900 block of Tremore Club Drive in Burlington was also searched Thursday morning. The home is owned by the owners of the restaurant, according to authorities.

Homeland Security Investigations have made some arrests or detainments for immigration violations.

Beckom said the allegations do not involve children and potentially could involve men and women who work there.

ALE has been investigating the restaurant for weeks, according to Beckom.

The investigation started after police responded to a standoff in the 2200 block of Dorsett Street at a home that the restaurant’s owners also own, according to authorities. The case involved a suspect cutting tires in a driveway with a machete and acting erratically.

Police saw something at the Dorsett Street home that made them believe that the location could be linked to human trafficking. Police have not said what it was.

(Wyatt Greer/WGHP)

Officers joined forces with ALE (Alcohol Law Enforcement) and HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) and the investigation led them to the Hibachi Buffet.

The Hibachi Buffet was closed on Friday, but said in a sign that the buffet would reopen on Saturday.

FOX8 is working to gather more information as it becomes available.