A Gaithersburg woman has been charged with human trafficking and conducting prostitution following a long-term investigation into a series of alleged prostitution brothels that were operating under the guise of acupressure and massage parlors, according to a Montgomery County Police Department press release.
Feng Liu, of the 100 block of Orchard Drive, is one of four county business operators facing charges, the release states.
The 46-year-old Liu was the business operator at Ya Ya Spa, located at 751 Rockville Pike, Suite 1B. Ya Ya Spa was one of six parlors under investigation, according to the release.
"In the past, the owners/operators of these establishments, much like 'pimps', created enough space between themselves and the business operations that allowed them to be immune from criminal accountability," the release states. "Investigators determined that illegitimate massage and acupressure businesses operating in the county had become the havens for human trafficking schemes and were exploiting the most vulnerable women as tools for profit."
Montgomery County police said they were tipped off by an increase in the number of acupressure and massage parlor advertisements in the adult section of internet sites that cater to adult services.
In addition, the release said the MCPD received numerous complaints about the illegal operation of these businesses.
In addition to Ya Ya Spa, the MCPD lists the following others from their investigation:
• The Pink Spa,932 Hungerford Drive, Suite 14A, Rockville
• The Tropical Spa, 620 Hungerford Drive, Suite 16, Rockville
• Executive Bodywork, 966 Hungerford Drive, Suite 14A, Rockville
• Wa Wa Spa, 5858 Hubbard Drive, Rockville
• Best Massage- 966 Hungerford Dr, Suite 11A, Rockville
Montgomery County police ask that anyone with information about the suspects or businesses involved in this investigation or information about illegal activity at other massge businesses call the Montgomery County Special Investigations
Division-Vice and Intelligence Unit at: 240-773-5958.