DALLAS (TIP): A local police task force has raided 10 Dallas massage parlors suspected of prostitution and arrested 21 foreign nationals on immigration charges, federal authorities said. The North Texas Trafficking Task Force served search warrants Wednesday at businesses located in the 11300 block of Emerald Street and the 2100 block of North Northwest Highway.
The businesses also are suspected of harboring illegal immigrants, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations division and Dallas police took part in the bust, in which 18 women from Thailand were arrested for immigration violations along with three from South Korea.
One of the women was also charged with possessing methamphetamine. The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office will decide whether to bring additional charges related to running an illegal sex-oriented business. Search warrants also were served at the Irving home of a business owner.
Federal agents seized about $640,000 in cash, along with computers, cell phones and documents. Authorities are cracking down on the sex industry to rescue victims of human trafficking and arrest those responsible, said David M. Marwell, special agent in charge of HSI Dallas. “However, the best way of attacking human trafficking is by increasing public awareness of this crime,” he said. Dallas police vice officers have made numerous prostitution cases during the investigation, ICE said.
Investigators want to know whether women were forced into working at the massage parlors. The investigation “revealed a revolving door of owners and female workers” in the 10 massage parlors, which have different owners, ICE said. “The employees are often rotated throughout the United States to work in other massage parlors and prostitution establishments,” ICE said. The owners only visited the massage parlors to pick up money and make bank deposits, according to ICE. The task force is made up of 17 law enforcement agencies whose mission is to prosecute human traffickers and rescue their victims.