UPDATE: Airway Heights PD Chief tells KHQ's Chelsea Kopta that women
would arrange online to meet Johns at Northern Quest Resort &
Casino and carry out the prostitution in the resort hotel. Kalispel
Tribal police initially tipped off Airway Heights Police, who led
today's 'Operation Red Light,' which expanded to a total of 8 area spas
TWEETS FROM KHQ LOCAL NEWS:
TWEET FROM KHQ: Airway Heights PD: "It was very important to have undercover to get into that world. Everything went off smooth today." #Spokanespabust
TWEET FROM KHQ: Airway Heights PD: "We don't have these in our area. We had a business that wanted help to get rid of this." #Spokanespabust
TWEET FROM KHQ: Airway Heights PD: "The spas were making $8-10K a month, some of them. It's very sad. One spa had a sign-in book." #Spokanespabust
TWEET FROM KHQ: Airway Heights PD: "Probable cause exists for the money laundering. Cars, etc were purchased with money from this." #Spokanespabust
TWEET FROM KHQ: Airway Heights PD: "We have 72 hours to file charges. We are still interviewing folks at the locations." #Spokanespabust
TWEET FROM KHQ: Airway Heights PD: "It's not over today. We're hoping people will call if they've been mistreated. It's still going on." #Spokanespabust
KHQ TWEET: Airway Heights PD: "It's beyond my scope to handle this alone. Many agencies involved. It affects everyone." #Spokanespabust
KHQ TWEET: Airway Heights PD: "We're wanting to curtail the activities of these spas, and focused on money laundering and prostitution. #Spokanespabust
KHQ TWEET: Airway Heights PD: "Not looking to make any arrests on the prostitutes or the Johns at this time. #Spokanespabust
KHQ TWEET: Cops: "we don't think anyone was going for a legitimate message." #Spokane spa bust.
KHQ TWEET: Women involved were not under age. Spas were all different. Customers paid a door fee. #Spokane spa bust.
KHQ TWEET: Operation Red Light, cops bust spas for prostitution in #Spokane. Started at noon at 213 E. Sprague, 2900 N. Market, and 415 S. Maple.
KHQ.COM - On Tuesday members of the Airway Heights Police Department, Kalispel Tribal Police, Washington State Gambling Commission, Homeland Security Investigations, US Border Patrol, United States Marshals, Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Spokane Valley Police Department, Spokane Police Department, Liberty Lake Police Department and Cheney Police Department, conducted search warrants on eight Spa's, and six residences in the City of Spokane, the City of Spokane Valley and Spokane County.
The search warrants were conducted based on a year long investigation into prostitution, promoting prostitution, money laundering, criminal profiteering and controlled substances. Numerous items were seized for evidentiary value as well as civil seizures for items that were purchased using funds derived from those illegal activities.
The investigators have taken several key individuals into custody where they will conduct follow up interviews as permitted by state and federal laws.
Early on in the investigation it was determined that a special inquiry be implemented. A special inquiry judge and prosecutor were assigned. The investigators have been working closely with the special inquiry prosecutor to ensure the successful completion of this investigation.
Stay tuned to KHQ.com, Facebook and our Twitter news feed for more details.