Police investigating 2 local spas for ‘prostitution criminal enterprise’

STATESVILLE, N.C. — Two local spas are under investigation in connection with what police are calling a “prostitution criminal enterprise.”

One location is in Statesville and the other is in Monroe.

People at businesses near the Statesville spa said the customers often parked at the other end of the parking lot and would walk to the entrance. Police in Monroe said the same thing.

Channel 9′s Dave Faherty went to Breeze Spa on Tuesday but the doors were are all locked. It’s located in the Signal Hill Shopping Center in Statesville.

Police arrested three women last week on charges including soliciting and promoting prostitution, along with engaging in the practice of massage therapy without being licensed.

Faherty learned both businesses were owned by the same person.

Alexandria Zimmerman is right next door to the Statesville spa. She told Faherty she saw men going in and out of the business at all hours.

“From what I could tell, I believe they were open all the time. I don’t know if they ever closed,” she said. “It was just kind of seedy characters. You could just kind of tell from the business that was coming in.”

Police in Monroe said for the past month, they have been working a joint prostitution investigation with Statesville police. Undercover officers went into Yan Spa in Monroe, where they said on every visit, they were offered sexual acts for money.

Court documents in Statesville show an undercover officer was solicited after going into Breeze Spa.

Neither business is licensed to operate massage therapy in North Carolina, according to state records.

Ed Lleras owns the Triple AAA Blind Factory nearby Breeze Spa and said it always had traffic.

“They always kept the doors open in front and the doors open in the back. I think they were living here, too,” he said. “They were always here.”

The charges filed are all misdemeanors. Anyone practicing massage therapy without a license can also face a fine of $50.

(WATCH BELOW: Prostitution sting: Feds bust 8 illegal massage parlors across Carolinas)