The third suspect in an ongoing human trafficking investigation was arrested Monday, accused of letting her apartment be used to host men paying for sex, authorities said.

Quita Lashawn Nichols, 45, of Waco, was arrested after McLennan County Sheriff's Office detectives started investigating a local human trafficking ring. Undercover detectives initially arrested Haqikah Amina Kerr, 39, and Andrea Shorter, 29, both of Houston, last week after they say the pair arranged to have three women meet an undercover detective for sex at a Waco apartment, an arrest affidavit states.

After Kerr and Shorter's arrests, authorities found electronic evidence linking them to Nichols, including conversations in which they discuss using Nichols' apartment for "dates" to carry out prostitution arrangements, Detective Joseph Scaramucci said.

"The evidence revealed that she (Nichols) was participating in this venture by using her apartment as a brothel for the trafficked women to be victimized," Scaramucci said.

Authorities arrested Nichols on a first-degree felony charge of engaging in organized criminal activity. She remained in custody Tuesday with bond listed at $25,000. Kerr and Shorter also remained in jail Tuesday.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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