ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A large prostitution sting in St. George netted seven women accused of selling sex inside massage parlors.
The arrests came when officers served search warrants to five separate massage parlors in the St. George area Tuesday.
"They didn't have business licenses or massage licenses. Clients were being solicited for sex," Sgt. David Williams said.
The raids were made after undercover officers went to Japan Massage, Golden Coast Massage, Massage Therapy, and two Dixie Massage locations in St. George and Washington City.
Jumei Qin, Li Ying, Yuxoang Wang, Yuhua Liu, Shanmei Olmstead, Feng Fang Li, Dong Ju Jin were arrested in the bust.
"We made a lot of arrests. A part of what we are doing is, we gathered a lot of information," Sgt. David Williams said.
The information comes from cell phones, computers, and DVR connected to security cameras at the massage parlors.
"The other thing we need to combat in this thing is the demand, not just the supply. We are going to go through those DVR footage and there might be some clients we are going to need to talk to," Sgt. Williams said.
"It was always men that came," LaJoy Gustaveson said.
Gustaveson teaches art classes down the hall from Dixie Massage, one of the businesses raided by police.
"I didn't think anything of it until my neighbor across the way came over one day and says, 'You know we have a prostitute thing going on here in the building?' I said, 'No. Oh. That explains a lot'," Gustaveson said.
For one year, Gustaveson noticed men coming for massages late into the evenings in the business operated by women who went by the names "Suzanne" and "Jenny."
"These girls, I think, are prey for some businessman who wants to make a lot of money. I don't think the girls kept the money. I think that it is a ring, [human] trafficking by some higher person who kept them in fear," Gustaveson said.
Many of the women are charged with operating a business without a license and not properly qualified to give massages.
Sexual solicitation arrests are up, according to St. George Police. Thirteen massage parlor related arrests have been made since this time last year.