4 Arrested in Polk County Massage Parlor Operation
Police in Central Florida often target massage parlors to sweep for signs of human trafficking. Recently, deputies with Polk County police arrested four in a massage parlor operation in Davenport. The focus of the operation was to identify human trafficking victims who might be working for these businesses against their will.
Four female massage parlor operators were ultimately arrested in two different spas in the area. There is no evidence that any of the suspects is a victim of human trafficking. Of the four arrested, two were charged with committing lewd acts, and the other two were charged with committing lewd acts and battery. One of the four women was also charged with conducting unlicensed massage therapy.
All four women arrested live near the massage parlors they operated. They were all released from jail after posting bond.
Cops Target Massage Parlors in Central Florida for Human Trafficking
There are hundreds of massage spas throughout Central Florida that may be investigated in connection to human trafficking. According to statistics from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Orlando is a hotspot for this form of criminal activity, which is a federal offense. In fact, the city takes 3rd place for the sheer number of calls to the human trafficking hotline. Due to the widespread tourism, rapid growth, and a significant presence of the hotel and restaurant industries, many human trafficking victims hide in plain sight in Orlando. These factors allow traffickers to avoid detection.
Massage parlors are just one cover for illicit trafficking activities, yet police are directing more resources to ensuring these businesses comply with regulations. During this investigation, police checked out three additional massage parlors that they found were compliant. They are: Touch of China Massage in Davenport, Sunny Massage in Davenport, and New Oriental Massage in Winter Haven.
How to Handle Human Trafficking Charges in Orlando
Human trafficking is a serious offense that may be charged at the state and/or federal level depending on the details of the case. Federal charges can lead to severe penalties that include decades in prison and/or steep financial penalties. Additionally, you may be required to register as a sex offender for life.
Don’t take chances with your future; if you are under investigation in connection to a human trafficking operation, you need quality representation. Our federal defense lawyers in Orlando are ready to help you make crucial decisions at this time.
Call The Umansky Law Firm or contact us for a free consultation.