The Investigators

Sep 11, 2013 1:05 AM by Tom McNamara

TPD busts massage spa workers on prostitution charges

TUCSON - Tucson Police have busted a north side business, for giving customers more than they advertised.

Court documents uncovered by the News 4 Tucson Investigators reveal the illicit business that detectives shut down just inside city limits.

Police served not one, but two search warrants at the business. The first was served back in May. Then another was served less than two weeks ago, in late August.

The business, called Vega Spa, was operating on Oracle Road just north of River Road.

Tucson Police Lieutenant James Scott tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators, officers learned the business had been operating above the law in another part of Pima County.

"We sent two undercover officers in there, and they were solicited sexual favors for payment," Scott says.

In that case, Tucson Police arrested the two masseusses, and the person running the business. All three were charged with not having a city massage license, and two of them were arrested on prostitution charges.

Police say they recovered credit card records, computers, and cell phones.

But, it didn't end there. Investigators say the business then re-opened, advertising online as recently as two weeks ago

"We actually found an ad on backpage.com advertising for that same business. So, we decided to go back, and we did. We had one undercover officer go in there at that time, and the same thing occurred. The masseur offered sexual acts for payment," Scott says.

So, Tucson Police moved in again on August 30th, and arrested two of those same people. Again, officers seized cell phones, receipts, lotion, and other items.

Police tell the News 4 Tucson Investigators, businesses like Vega Spa actually hurt legal massage therapists who are playing by the rules.

"There are legitimate massage places out there for therapeutic reasons, and the illegal ones are starting to capitalize on this, you know, for the illicit stuff for they do within their parlors, and it's unfortunate for the legitimate businesses." Scott says.

And Lt. Scott tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators, they will follow-up, and keep an eye online for other businesses like Vega Spa that pop up inside city limits.

"Hopefully, we got the word out to them, that we're not going to tolerate this, and we are going to enforce the laws at that business if they continue this type of activity," Scott says.

The suspects in the Vega Spa case deny they were involved in prostitution. They have another court date coming up soon. We'll keep you posted on how it goes.

If you have something you'd like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to look into, email us at investigators at kvoa.com

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