Organized crime, human trafficking, prostitution linked across Orange County during massage parlor sting
Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2024
After receiving Crime Stoppers tips in August and observing an influx of massage parlors opening throughout the Orange, the City of Orange Police Department, along with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, initiated an investigation.
During the investigation, it was determined there were massage parlors located in Bridge City, Pinehurst, Vidor and Beaumont that were possibly linked.
During the course of the investigation, investigators confirmed sexual acts were being performed by female employees of several massage parlors in exchange for money.
Investigators believed these female employees of the massage parlors are victims of human trafficking.
At this point, investigators reached out to local federal agencies to assist with the investigation.
As a result of this investigation, investigators with Orange Police Department, West Orange Police Department, Bridge City Police Department, Pinehurst Police Department and Vidor Police Department prepared affidavits for search warrants that were then approved by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for the following locations:
- Anna Spa (1005 Green Ave. in Orange)
- A1 Massage (2968 North 16th St. in Orange)
- Jade Flower (#11 Strickland Dr. in Orange)
- Panda Spa (7014 Highway 87 in Orange)
- Star Massage (3515 Mockingbird #C in Pinehurst)
- Rainbow Massage (2070 #B Texas Ave. in Bridge City)
- Sunlight Spa (120 West Bolivar in Vidor)
These warrants were presented to and granted by Orange County 128th District Court Judge Courtney Arkeen.
A search warrant for the following was obtained through Jefferson County by the Beaumont Police Department: Long Long Health Spa (5425 College St. in Beaumont)
These search warrants were executed Wednesday, and authorities said evidence was located that was consistent with human trafficking, promotion of prostitution, prostitution and organized criminal activity.
Upon the execution of the search warrant at Anna Spa, a patron of the business was arrested for prostitution.
The following agencies assisted with the execution of the search warrants:
This investigation is ongoing and future arrests are expected.
Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll said this is a coordinated effort included the raid at Thai Sunlight Massage, 120 W. Bolivar Street in Vidor, at approximately 8:05 a.m. Wednesday.
The investigation has been going on for the past year, he added.
The massage parlor is located near Interstate 10, which is a known route by law enforcement for human trafficking.
The business was shut down due to the investigation.
Carroll said he has not heard of similar incidents at massage parlors in the city since he became chief in 2016.
— Written by Mary Meaux