Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Police Reports

December 11, 2007

CRIME: Businesses said to be fronts for prostitution.

BY RICK PFEIFFER

pfeifferr@gnnewspaper.com

A task force of federal, county and local law enforcement officers swept through Niagara and northern Erie County early Monday morning shutting down four massage parlors — one in Lockport — and a fortune teller that were reportedly fronts for a prostitution ring.

U.S. Attorney Terrence Flynn said three people, including a husband and wife, were arrested at a home they shared on Bowen Drive West, North Tonawanda. A fourth defendant was picked up in Atlanta.

The raids wrapped up a 15-month investigation conducted by the U.S. attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force. It is one of 42 such groups across the U.S. that work to identify, rescue and assist victims of human trafficking, human smuggling and other civil and human rights offenses.

The massage and acupressure spa establishments that were targeted included: the Lotus Acupressure Spa, 225 East Ave., Lockport; the Lotus Spa, 446 Third St., Niagara Falls; Golden Acupressure and Lucky J Fortune Teller, 3571 Niagara Falls Blvd., Wheatfield; and Lotus Acupressure, 2302 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda.

At those locations, federal authorities said they found nine women, all of them illegal aliens from Asia, who spoke little English. Investigators said the women were held as virtual captives at the locations.

While advertising as legitimate massage and acupressure spas, investigators said none of the businesses accepted insurance-related cards or discounts. They also said the businesses operated as “cash only” and did not accept credit cards.

Acts of prostitution, described as “happy endings” ranged in cost from $100 to $300, depending on the act.

Those arrested are charged with operating a massage parlor as fronts for prostitution by aliens, failing to file the requisite factual statement with the appropriate immigration authorities and conspiracy. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, or both.

The nine women rescued from the parlors are being housed and assisted by The International Institute of Buffalo.

1
Text Only
Police Reports
Featured Ads
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.