UPDATED: Ohio AG serves warrants at 8 Warren spas
WARREN, Ohio - Investigators are still on the scene following a raid of eight massage parlors in the city of Warren.
The investigation goes beyond prostitution. Human trafficking, prostitution and money laundering are the components that started a yearlong investigation into eight massage parlors in Warren.
The result, 60 Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Officers raiding the spa's.
"I didn't want to attack it for minor crimes i wanted to get the root of the problem," said Warren Police Chief Tim Bowers.
The yearlong investigation was conducted through surveillance and interviews with patrons from all over the Ohio. One interviewee identified as P.H. admitted to investigators he did pay for sexual services inside four of the eight spa's stating "he knew the activities were illegal."
Fees for services would range from $40s on up. P.H. told investigators the businesses are run by an unknown "higher up" that facilitate brining the females from "Korea to New York to Ohio."
Interviews also included a 56-year-old Korean woman who worked at the Hot Sun Spa. She told investigators she was offered a co-ownership opportunity at the Ocean Spa on North Road where she performed sexual acts on men for a fee.
She left because she was not being paid enough. She also told investigators she knew a lot of the women working at the other spas in Warren are sex related.
She stated that "jockeys" were persons that would take the women out of the spas so the women could go shopping. In addition, the "jockeys" would also transport girls from New York to Warren and that many of the girls have no green card.
"The mayor and I walked in there and what we saw was four sleeping bags in one room on the floor. That's not positive evidence of human trafficking, but it's not a very good sign," said Attorney General Mike DeWine.
As investigators collect computer information and forensic evidence they are hoping to gain information through interpreters who are talking with the employees, but they are saying it is difficult because employees are fearful to talk with the investigators.