SPOKANE - The owner of an Asian spa allegedly operating as a front for a brothel, knew police were watching him and stayed in business anyway.
The 14-month long investigation was also almost compromised when a customer, who identified himself as a police officer, told a woman working as a prostitute that a big raid was in the works.
No less than 34 confidential informants, all of them spa customers or employees, gave investigators a detailed look at how the Asian spas operated.
A home video made at Joe Jeans well before the police raids provides a pretty good picture as well. The video was made by two Spokane women who had their doubts that the Asian spas were offering therapeutic massages.Spa Investigation
The pair was packing a cell phone camera and did their best to wind up on the massage table, but the Joe Jeans employee couldn't seem to offer them any massages they were asking for.
Employee: "May I help you?"
Women: "I was wondering how much massages were?"
Employee: "Oh, it's 80 for an hour. Are you looking for a professional massage because we don't do professional massages."
Women: "What do you mean?"
Employee: "We are not licensed or anything."
By this point in the video, the Joe Jeans employee was hoping the women would get the picture, but Mandie and Kathryn persisted.
Women: "Do you do, like, hot rock?"
Employee: "No. We have jacuzzi, we have a sauna… steam… and we don't do, like a hot rock one."
Women: "Do you do, like, do a Swedish massage?"
Employee: "No, we don't do that."
Instead, police allege Joe Jeans customers paid an average of $200 for something called a "full service massage".
There is a list of 1,100 men who used their credit cards for the transactions. The names that have been redacted are customers who've agreed to testify against alleged madams.
Investigators say they have found no evidence that real law enforcement officers used Asian spas. There are no cops on that list of customers.
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