Sheriff's office raids Waco massage parlor; 1 arrested, 2 detained

Posted at 10:32 AM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-24 11:33:25-04

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office executed a prostitution sting on a Waco massage parlor on Thursday morning.

The raid happened at the Sun Orchid Spa located in the 4700 block of West Waco Drive around 10 a.m.

Dr. Melody Martin works at Martin Hearing located next door to the raided business.

“Our business neighbors were always very private and there was nothing to make us think there was something illegal going on," Martin said.

Martin noticed the police presence before the operation took place.

"We were in the midst of our clinic this morning, seeing our patients and everything and when I came up to the front to get to a patient. I saw a team of undercover agents rush past our window," Martin said. "It was pretty much a surprise they seemed to come from nowhere."

Unbound, a Waco-area organization that fights human trafficking, was present on the scene.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Unbound provides a liaison between law enforcement and victims of human trafficking.

On Thursday, Unbound brought interpreters who speak Mandarin Chinese to help with the investigation because the two victims didn't speak English.

“There is a room set up in the back they were living in, there were mattresses on the floor. It was a sad situation. We think they were totally taken advantage of," McNamara said.

One man, 55-year-old Renquan Zheng, has been charged with engaging in organized crime relating to human trafficking. Two other people have been detained, McNamara said.

"Our job is to rescue these women or whoever is being human trafficked against their will," McNamara said.  

Deputies seized $43,000 from Sun Orchid and the owner's apartment in the 5000 block of Sanger Avenue.

"You want to run a straight parlor, that's fine. We don't have any problem with that, but when you step over the line, you start having people buying sex. That's where we draw the line," McNamara said.

According to the arrest affidavit, two undercover detectives went to the massage parlor in May where they were met by two women. The detectives were taken to separate rooms.

About 40 minutes into the massage, both detectives were told to turn over.  They were each then offered sex acts in exchange for $40.

This incident happened again when detectives returned to the parlor in August.

During this visit, detectives noticed a living area in the back of the parlor, which is consistent with human trafficking, the affidavit said.

The Texas Department of License and Regulation voided the license of Sun Orchid Spa in March of 2017.

This is at least the fifth massage parlor the Sheriff's Office raided within the past year. 

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