Santa Cruz Police Investigate Local Spas for Human Trafficking
Golden Bay Spa
SANTA CRUZ — The Santa Cruz Police Department’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) has conducted an undercover human trafficking and prostitution sting on several local massage parlors.
The operation took place on a Friday in January and several Chinese nationals were cited for soliciting.
On January 29, 2016, the NET team conducted the sting in response to community complaints and suspicions about certain local businesses. Officers were sent to four of them: Lucky Valley Health Center, Asian Massage, Health Care Massage, and Golden Bay Spa.
Employees in all four solicited police by offering to perform sex acts in exchange for money.
Four female Chinese nationals were ranging from 30 to 50 years of age were cited for soliciting acts of prostitution. According to police, this is not uncommon practice behind closed doors of businesses such as these.
The Police Department Victim Advocate as well as an advocate from Monarch Services accompanied officers on the operation. Women in such operations are indeed usually victims of larger trafficking operations.
Other agencies participating in the sting include the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team, the District Attorney’s Office, and Federal and State Law Enforcement. Santa Cruz County NET team plans to conduct similar operations in the future.