More arrests have been made in connection with a months-long investigation into a string of massage parlors accused of offering sexual services in Louisiana.
Huang Weng, 39, was arrested for his alleged role in the prostitution ring on Feb. 27. He has been charged with promoting prostitution and pandering.
On Thursday, deputies from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office arrested An-Kuo Ho, 62. The next day, they took 49-year-old Chengying Hu into custody, according to WAFB.
Ho and Hu have been charged with promoting prostitution, pandering and money laundering. A fourth person, Yong Li, 40, is facing similar accusations, but it was not immediately clear if they were arrested.
Weng, the first person apprehended, admitted to being paid cash “for transporting Asian female masseuses,” according to an affidavit. He was arrested in January 2022 for the same charges, including money laundering and criminal conspiracy.
Weng’s previous charges were dropped after he agreed to turn over the $8,761 that was seized during his arrest. Records show the deal was finalized on Oct. 28, 2022, according to WBRZ.
But as it reportedly turned out, Weng relaunched his criminal operations before the judge could sign his deal. A new investigation kicked off on Sept. 1, 2022, with a focus on Wellness Spa. His business, All Natural Spa, was eventually linked to the case, according to reports.
Meanwhile, Ho was connected to Wellness Spa, which later changed its name to H & Z Spa. Ho was also connected to Maple Leaf Massage and Orange Spa, which were linked in the probe, according to reports.
Undercover detectives said they were offered “an erotic massage and sexual acts” at H & Z Spa. Meanwhile, Orange Spa allegedly advertised “Asian young girls working daily” and having “different sexy Asian beauties to bring you other feelings,” as per BR Proud.
Hu, on the other hand, was identified as an account holder of the Regions bank account for Rainbow Spa, another massage parlor linked to the case. Raids into both Hu’s residence and the spa reportedly helped establish that they were a co-conspirator.
The State Board of Massage Therapy said the massage parlors’ licenses were revoked after last year’s investigation. It appears the businesses illegally resumed operations under different names.
“It’s been a pretty common thing in the state,” Jennifer Mire, vice president of The Dragonfly Harbor, a nonprofit that helps victims of human trafficking, told WBRZ. “I think people forget these are real people who have trauma, and they are victims in these situations.”