NYPD raids, shuts down 6 alleged brothels posing as massage parlors, Mayor Adams says

NYPD raids, shuts down 6 alleged brothels posing as massage parlors, Mayor Adams says

Eric Lagatta
 USA TODAYplayShow CaptionHide Caption#videoDetailsToggle{color:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));cursor:pointer;display:inline-block;font-family:var(–sans-serif,sans-serif);font-size:var(–type-7);font-weight:var( –font-weight-bold,900);line-height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);margin-bottom:-8px}#vdt_hide{margin-bottom:10px}.vdt-flex[hidden]{display:none}.vdt-svg{fill:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);width:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px)}NYPD busts brothels masquerading as massage parlors in QueensA sting operation in Queens targeted half a dozen massage parlors officials said were fronts for brothels.Fox – 5 NY

Six New York City massage parlors that authorities suspect were operating as brothels were shut down Thursday during a raid by the New York City Police Department in Queens, the city’s Mayor Eric Adams announced on social media.

The businesses and their alleged illicit prostitution operations had become well-known among residents and business owners on Roosevelt Avenue, according to multiple outlets who quoted City Councilman Francisco Moya during a briefing shortly before the raids took place.

After Moya relayed his constituents’ concerns to Adams, the mayor assembled a team of police and city officials to surveil for sex trafficking operations taking place at the massage parlors, one of which was located about 50 feet from a school, according to multiple media reports.

I was proud to join @NYPD115Pct tonight on an important quality of life enforcement operation to shut down six establishments that were breaking the law and perpetuating prostitution. 
Prostitution is not a victimless crime — sex trafficking, abuse, and more. There are so many… pic.twitter.com/zE2uLTnXLx

— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) January 25, 2024

Adams said in a media briefing before the busts that authorities witnessed the parlors operating in “full effect” at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. The investigation led to a court order from a judge that allowed police to search and shut down the operations Thursday afternoon.

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“Prostitution is not a victimless crime — sex trafficking, abuse, and more,” Adams said in a statement on the social media platform X. “There are so many concerns in our communities and we are taking action.”

This week’s raids bring to 12 the number of locations within two weeks on Roosevelt Avenue that police have investigated and shut down for alleged sex trafficking, the New York City Police Department said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Mayor Adams’ office did not immediately return a message Friday to USA TODAY seeking more information.

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Residents, business owners rejoice after alleged brothel raids

Nearby residents and owners of neighboring businesses were quoted in multiple outlets as praising the raids after months of complaints.

“Finally, finally we’re happy because they start standing in front of our doors, and it’s a big mess for us,” Rajbir Kaur, who works just next door to one of the parlors shuttered by police, told Fox 5 New York.

In a statement to USA TODAY, Moya said New York officials are “using every tool in our toolbox to crackdown on illegal brothels in Queens.”

“We will employ all measures within the law to close down these establishments operating under deplorable conditions,” Moya said. “The NYPD will track them down, preventing any attempts to reopen under a different name or location. Our dedication to ensuring community safety is firm, and we will persist until the job is done.”

No arrests have been reported following Thursday’s raids.

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Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at [email protected]

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