Two Austin massage parlor owners have been charged for fronting a prostitution ring in their salon, after a concerned property manager tipped off police. An industrial waste unit attached to the property had been completely “clogged and destroyed by the condoms,” say police.
KXAN reports that several tenants in the strip mall where Jade Massage was located had attempted to report the married couple, Joseph Emery and Juan Wang, suspecting things were not all they should be. Investigations began on February 7, and police quickly discovered that the condoms were just the tip of the iceberg:
Police found that just two days before, on Feb. 5, Wang was stopped during security screening at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after a number of small duct-taped bundles of cash were found in her carry-on luggage, totaling $30,000.
Wang told an officer she was on her way to China for a medical procedure and needed the money to pay for it. She said the money was from Jade Massage, where she claimed to make $20,000 a year. When the officer pointed out that she was carrying more than a year’s worth of income, police say Wang became “visibly nervous” and had difficulty answering any more questions.
In mid-March officers stop two men exiting the salon, who eventually admitted to paying for sexual services inside. On March 22, Austin Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit and the Criminal Conspiracy Unit searched the business, according to KHOU. They discovered Wang with a nude man, and another unnamed woman with a second unnamed nude man. Both Wang and Emery were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and money laundering.
Human Trafficking and Vice Unit Sgt. Kevin Covington told The Statesman that the condoms weren’t the whole story, but they definitely helped the investigation along. “I was like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,’” said Covington, “It’s not the normal tip you would get, or lead you would get on a place committing criminal activity, but it happened, so that helped us out.”