Officers with the Corpus Christi Police Department and agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security raided five suspected illegal massage parlors last week. Arrests came after some neighboring businesses complained of girls watering the plants outside while wearing revealing lingerie. Eight women were arrested in the operation.
The five establishments that were shut down by authorities are listed by the Houston Chronicle as: the Rose Spa on S. Staples, China Spa on Everhart Road, Herbal Massage on S. Staples, Spa Massage on Everhart Road, and Massage on Everhart Road. Five people were arrested in connection with the raid.
Fen Hua Shen Baza, 42, was charged with prostitution, violating the Occupations code for unlicensed massage therapy, and operating a massage establishment without a license. She was arrested at the Rose Spa along with her co-worker Caihong Tan, 56. Tan was charged with a violation of the Occupations Code for operating the establishment without a license.
Five other women were arrested at the other spas for licensing violations. These women are: Dong Hong Wang, 39; Xiuqin Liu, 50; Yanjie Zhang, 46; and three other women whose names were not released.
Witnesses at neighboring business had lots to say to KIII-TV in Corpus Christi. “There was definitely illegal things going on in there,” said Melissa Rodriguez, who runs an ultrasound clinic next door to one spa. “The only meeting we ever got was them outside watering plants dressed in lingerie, basically where you could see everything.”
Rodriguez also told the station’s reporter, Rudy Trevino, she saw evidence that women were living inside the spa. This is a common practice when these businesses are rotating women out on a regular basis and shipping them around the country to other spas. Richard Perez, who owns a barbershop next door to one of the spas, told Trevino that everyone “seems happy going in and coming out.”
Another shopping center worker told Trevino that customers would park a long distance from the spa and walk over, so their cars were not seen parked next to the establishment. He also said he has seen some customers entering and exiting through the back door of the spa.
Rodriguez told Trevino she saw women washing their hair and drying their “outfits” out behind the spa. “It seemed like people were living in there,” she said.
Trevino said business owners told him they had made numerous complaints to police about the spas, but nothing was done, “until today.”