Massage business accused of human trafficking closed after raid

Posted at 4:14 PM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:50-04

McLennan County Sheriff deputies raided a massage business on Tuesday after suspicion of human trafficking activity. The business remained closed on Wednesday.

Deputies executing two search warrants at the business said they found evidence of human trafficking and prostitution at Twin Oriental Massage located in the 1500 block of Wooded Acres. 

"We're going to continue this investigation. We are sorting evidence to determine what other direction we may go in. We are not letting up. We are going to keep going forward to this,” Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.

Two Chinese women, ages 55 and 57, were initially detained during the raid. They were later identified as victims.

UnBound Executive Director Susan Peters said she was there with a Chinese interpreter explaining to the women what was happening.

“We just try to communicate with them that we were trying to support them. That the law enforcement was checking on the business, that they were not there to hurt them,” Peters said.

Peters said many of these women come to the United States under false pretenses.

“Most of the time they're answering an ad for a legitimate job trying to leave China from an impoverished village and get trapped into this,” Peters said.

In addition, the organization which works to combat human trafficking, offered them resources to help them through this process. However, they have not heard back from them yet.

It is unknown whether the business will reopen. McNamara said it would be up to the property owner to determine whether it would allow for it to reopen. 

The investigation is ongoing and arrests may be coming.

"We're not going to let up. We are going to keep this effort going. Human trafficking is certainly a sad thing that happens to this young and older people," McNamara said. "Basically they are preying on the innocent or the helpless. That's why we are stepping in and trying to make a difference to get people out of that profession, if we can."

Last year, deputies raided two massage parlors in Waco after being suspected of human trafficking. Jacob Guang Yang was arrested after being accused of running both of the businesses. McNamara said this business does not seem to be affiliated with those two.

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved.