Eighteen arrested in Bay Area massage parlor raids

(BCN)

Law enforcement officials in Alameda County this afternoon announced 18 arrests in a six-month long operation targeting massage parlors promoting prostitution and other illegal activities throughout the county, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

More than 400 local, state and federal law enforcement officers executed 32 search warrants today at 13 different businesses operating as massage parlors in Oakland, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Hayward.

Today’s bust came after six months of planning and investigation, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

Other locations were searched in Contra Costa, San Mateo, Solano, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties.

Investigators found five operations running out of 13 businesses and charged 19 individuals with felonies and misdemeanors including pimping, pandering and other sex offenses along with tax evasion and labor code violations.

More charges may be filed in connection with the operation, leading to more arrests, according to the district attorney’s office.

Law enforcement seized multiple assets, including bank accounts, cash and cars.

The businesses have been shut down.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a statement that the investigation was spurred by residents alerting the sheriff’s office about possible “illicit activities at various massage parlors.”

She called the growth of businesses that claim to be massage parlors “an ever increasing problem to our neighborhoods.”

She said, “With today’s operation, we are sending a message that this type of illicit behavior is not accepted in our community.”

Criminal complaints were filed today in Alameda County Superior Court and the suspects are scheduled to be arraigned in Oakland on May 6.

(Copyright 2014 Bay City News.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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