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Massage parlor raided for possible human trafficking

Local News

MIDVALE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Special agents raided a massage parlor after getting tips employees were allegedly selling sex.

Tuesday’s action at A+ Massage comes after months of investigation by special agents working for Utah’s Attorney General.

The Secure Strike Force continues work to uncover victims of human trafficking in the Beehive State. 

“We are pretty confident that some illicit business practices were going on inside. Now, we are trying to determine if the women involved are being trafficked for their services,” said Section Chief Nate Mutter, Special Investigations and Public Corruption Unit. 

 

Investigators said the bust comes after a tip from an anonymous employee who said she signed a contract with the owner to perform illicit sexual acts during massage appointments.

Investigators also said two agents were asked if they wanted sex while undercover.

“It’s very likely they are being exploited, either forced, coerced or threatened,” said Utah Attorney General’s Office Chief of Investigations Leo Lucy said. 

In all, four employees and two male clients were detained for interviews. Inside the State Street business, agents searched for anything that may point to sex trafficking. 

“It’s really modern day slavery. It is also a very lucrative and quickly growing international criminal enterprise,” Lucy said. 

Now the real work starts as agents build a case against the business owner and male customers. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, no arrests were made. 

“Anytime you have victims, especially when you’re talking about the egregious nature of human trafficking cases, anytime you have victims caught up in those cases, you want to get those victims out of that situation,” Mutter said. 

Investigators also served a search warrant at Brighton Place Apartments, where employees were believed to have lived. Undercover agents told ABC4 Utah they found a large amount of cash inside the home. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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