CINCINNATI (WLWT) – Federal and local officials raided two Hamilton County massage parlors Thursday morning, resulting in the arrest of two women.
WLWT reports according to officials with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, investigators served warrants at the massage parlors — in Symmes and Sycamore townships — relating to prostitution.
Refresh Center, at 11373 Montgomery Road, and Massage Studio, at 10758 Montgomery Road, were swarmed by investigators early Thursday.
Wang Caixia, 56, and Xiao Xian Han, 46, were arrested on prostitution and solicitation charges, investigators said.
Both women are being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center.
The Sheriff’s Office, FBI, Homeland Security and the Cincinnati Police Department are assisting in the investigation.
"It’s a prostitution allegation," said Dave Daugherty, with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to the women who were arrested, several others are being detained. Translators with the Salvation Army are assisting investigators.
"They’re Chinese women," Daugherty said. "There’s a language barrier. It’s very difficult to communicate, so they’re kind of bridging that gap."
While he said there’s no evidence at this point indicating human trafficking, Daugherty said investigators are exploring that as a possible reason the women – who have not been arrested – were allegedly engaging in illicit sex crimes.
With the investigation still in its early stages, Daugherty has this message for anyone who frequents places where prostitution takes place.
"It’s illegal behavior," he said. "The johns who visit these places, they’re putting themselves at risk, they’re putting their families at risk. (There is a) health hazard that comes with that. But I would tell them it’s very dangerous. You don’t know what you’re dealing with here."