Local, state, and federal law enforcement officers have raided more than a dozen massage parlors throughout Northeast Ohio in connection with a human trafficking investigation, the U.S. Secret Service confirmed to WKYC.
13 locations are involved throughout seven counties. The Ohio State Highway Patrol listed them as follows:
- JC Relaxing Inc./Relax Massage - Brunswick
- Hua Nan Massage - Perkins Township
- Robust Asian Massage - Strongsville
- SC Relax Inc. - Strongsville
- Sunny H. Reflex Inc. - Broadview Heights
- Relax, Inc. - Kent
- Lucky Jade LLC - Medina
- Ming Relax Inc. - Lorain
- Bamboo Relaxing Massage Inc. - Wooster
- W&D Relax Inc. - Mansfield
- Sun GR Reflect Inc. - Cleveland
- Sun GR Reflect Inc. - Columbia Station
- Posh Massage Inc. - Avon
In addition, two apartments and one home in Brunswick were searched and seven people have been arrested. The investigation has apparently been going on for two years.
"We will not turn a blind eye to criminal enterprises, such as this one," Major Gary Allen, Ohio Investigative Unit commander, said in a statement. "We will continue to work with our partners to hold those accountable for their roles in commercial sex businesses."
Those charged with promoting prostitution by both a Cuyahoga and Medina County grand jury include:
- Jia Yue Dong, 42 - Brunswick
- Cui Rong Chen, 44 - Brunswick
- Fei Wang, 41 - Brunwsick
- Yan Wang, 41 - Brunswick
- Robert Swartz, 50 - Copley
- Chengqiang Yu, 48 - North Royalton
- Yulian Fu, 50 - North Royalton
"These parlors were illegally operating throughout multiple communities, including four here in Cuyahoga County," Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said. "I commend the multiple agencies involved who helped put an end to this criminal activity."
Investigators say they relied on tips as well as information gathered online from sites detailing some of the services. What's not yet clear is just how involved some of the employees were.
"We’re interviewing all of the employees," Greg Croft of the Ohio Department of Public Safety told us. "As you can imagine, there’s an extreme language barrier. We brought interpreters in from all over the country."