Massage parlor bust ends with 16 arrests

These are mug shots of eight of the 16 people arrested in Operation Red Light

February 21, 2013 3:24:48 PM PST
A law enforcement sting targeting massage parlors around Harris County has landed more than a dozen people under arrest.

On Wednesday night, the Harris County Sheriff's Office conducted "Operation Red Light," targeting eight massage parlors around the county as a follow up to the recently adopted Harris County Sexually Oriented Business Ordinances, and those identified by citizen complaints.

Sheriff's deputies arrested 16 employees of these establishments. The Harris County District Attorney's Office accepted more than 24 charges on them.

In addition, the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office designated 48 fire code violations from locations targeted in the compliance checks. The Harris County Attorney's Office will be filing nuisance abatement violations against six of the locations.

"Our crime-fighting deputies will continue to bust SOBs for prostitution, illegal drugs, illegal gun possession, unlicensed serving of alcohol and other crimes, just we like we have done before," Sheriff Adrian Garcia has said. "But the county regulations will, among other things, allow us to work with the County Attorney's Office, the District Attorney's Office and the constables to prevent some of these unwanted businesses from opening in the first place."

SOBs have to obtain licenses to operate legally, and a fire marshal's inspection is one of the requirements of licensure. Information on the criminal backgrounds of any operators will also be required. The regulations provide for notice to, and input from, residents before any SOB can open.

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