19 nabbed in prostitution sting at Brooklyn massage parlors
A police sting operation ended with 19 arrests after an investigation of a dozen Brooklyn day spas and massage parlors that allegedly were fronts for prostitution.
The Kings County District Attorney's Office and NYPD launched an investigation, which is ongoing, a year ago after residents in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights complained of suspicious activities at the businesses.
Some of the establishments posted explicit advertisements on craigslist.com and on backpage.com, police said.
"This was more than a vice takedown," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "This was about protecting neighborhood quality of life."
The probe, which utilized surveillance and undercover detectives, found "substantial evidence" of prostitution, violations of workers' compensation laws and more than 50 health- and safety-code violations, law enforcement officials said in a news release Thursday announcing the arrests.
The charges against those arrested include prostitution, promoting prostitution and unauthorized practice of a profession.
Stop-work orders were issued at four of the locations. City officials said they are looking to close all the businesses through nuisance abatement laws.