IMLAY CITY, Michigan (TNZT DETROIT) – A man and woman were arrested after police said they were operating massage parlors to cover up a prostitution gang in Lapeer County.
According to Imlay City Police, Anthony Joseph Juip, 72, and his wife Qing Feng Xu, 58, are accused of running a criminal enterprise and running a prostitution house.
Both Juip and Xu will face court again on September 26.
Police spent five months investigating the couple’s business at 542 N. Cedar St. in Imlay City for an outside ordinance violation and legitimacy through city ordinances. Due to an “alarming series of facts” they sent undercover agents to the massage parlor and discovered possible human trafficking and forced sex trafficking,” police said.
Authorities say police carried out searches at that location and at 420 Lake Nepessing Road in Lapeer on Aug. 3.
Police say four Chinese women with work visas have been found in Imlay City and are employed by Juip and Xu. The women have been arrested and have received victim assistance pending further investigation.
Researchers revealed that several other women “from out of town have rotated in and out of these businesses over the course of the past year.”
In addition, police say the majority of customers visiting the businesses came from out of town and drove into town for 40 to 50 minutes.
“The dismantling of this criminal enterprise by this police department should send a clear signal to everyone – that the Imlay City Police Department and the people of Lapeer County will not allow bad actors to exploit vulnerable individuals for profit through prostitution and human trafficking,” Imlay So says City Police Chief Brett Selby in a press release.
Selby said the investigation is ongoing.
Authorities are urging any woman who had contact with the companies to call Imlay City Police at 810-724-2345.