BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A multi-agency operation involving law enforcement officers with East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes, along with state and federal agents, played out across the area Wednesday, July 11, resulting in at least three arrests.
Three women are behind bars in East Baton Rouge Parish related to the massage parlor sting.
Zhongwei Cai allegedly offered sexual acts at the Yu Garden Spa on South Harrells Ferry Road. Xin Liu and Giong Wang reportedly committed similar acts at the Olive Massage on Coursey Boulevard.
They are each charged with prostitution and pandering.
Court documents state Liu faced similar charges in Texas.
A man, who wants to remain anonymous, says he's been reporting what he deemed as strange activity to local law enforcement and the Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy for years. "Every other week, it seemed like there was another set of ladies there," he said. "The same ones were never there for very long."
He adds their alleged business model, which stated no female customers were allowed, also came as a shock.
"It's only men. We've had female customers go in there because they legitimately wanted a massage and they told them they did not take female customers. They only took care of men," he explained.
No one was arrested at Oriental Relax on Coursey Boulevard, which was back open for business hours after Wednesday's raid.
After checking state records Thursday, it was found the Louisiana Board of Massage therapy caught wind of some possible wrongdoing and first issued a cease and desist order to both Oriental Relax locations in 2014, the one on Coursey and another on Old Hammond Highway. Records show the board says it received "several complaints" and cited a regulation that "no sexually oriented business" shall use the word massage or anything as a form of advertising.
Records also indicate both businesses eventually came into good standing and currently have an active license. Despite their good standing, those businesses do not sit well with some in the community.
"We're almost positive they're living there because we can smell the food cooking in the evening time," the man said. "It kind of concerns me of what exactly is going on. What they think might be appropriate and what we don't."
News crews spotted law enforcement at several massage parlors Wednesday morning, including the Oriental Relax locations on Old Hammond Highway and Coursey Boulevard, Lotus Massage on Jones Creek, and Spa Chi on Airline Highway in Prairieville.
An FBI spokesman says the FBI is leading the investigation.