Nine people were arrested in two prostitution stings this week at nine massage parlors in Lakewood and Tacoma.
Lakewood police detectives spent eight months looking into two parlors where they suspected women were performing sexual acts on customers during $50 body massages.
They posed as clients several times and said the masseuses offered sexual services every time, according to charging papers.
Six people arrested in the Lakewood sting are Chinese nationals who used American names such as Wendy, Amy, Annie and Sophia when dealing with customers, police said.
Yuan Chi, 51, owned Yuan Li Massage, 10518 South Tacoma Way, and Yi Lee Massage, 11634 Pacific Highway S.
She pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of leading organized crime and three counts of second-degree promoting prostitution.
Jing Su, 52, pleaded not guilty to the same charges.
Jiusheng Jiang, 56, is the only man charged in the Lakewood sting. He is accused of occasionally collecting money and acting as a manager of the parlors.
He pleaded not guilty to three counts of promoting prostitution.
Three woman who allegedly were performing sexual acts on customers — Jing Liu, 53; Xianin Luo, 44; and Aizhen Jiang, 53 — were charged with several counts of prostitution.
On Thursday, Tacoma police worked with several agencies to serve search warrants in “an ongoing prostitution investigation” at seven massage parlors, according to a news release.
Three people were arrested, including the person suspected of leading the group, police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.
Court records identify the leader as Aiqin Jiang, 44, who is charged with one count of leading organized crime, seven counts of second-degree promoting prostitution and two counts of prostitution.
Her employees called her “Lady Boss,” according to court papers.
Also charged is her son, Liang Shi, 21. He is charged with leading organized crime and seven counts of second-degree promoting prostitution.
The Tacoma investigation started eight months ago and involved undercover detectives posing as customers. Investigators conducted surveillance on Jiang and Shi and learned both had recently traveled to China, where they are citizens.
Detectives believe mother and son are flight risks, records show.
China does not extradite its citizens to the United States and Jiang reportedly has nearly $70,000 in a Chinese bank.
A woman suspected of prostituting herself in one of the parlors was arrested during Thursday’s raid.
She told police she earned $10 a day working in the parlor, was allowed to keep half the money from her sexual acts and lived in an apartment above one of the parlors.
The seven parlors targeted in the police operations have been boarded up after code enforcement officers found safety violations.
None of the women working in the massage parlors holds masseuse certifications in Washington, police said.
Tacoma City Councilman Marty Campbell posted on Facebook thanking the Police Department for its work serving warrants on “human trafficking operations masquerading as massage parlors.”
He said he plans to propose an ordinance at the next council meeting ensuring massage parlors are closed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The massage parlors in Lakewood and Tacoma both appear to be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The investigation in Tacoma was prompted by several complaints by residents about the parlors, which were at the following addresses: 721 S. 38th St., 708 S. 38th St., 3644 McKinley Ave., 4621 Pacific Ave., 4625 Pacific Ave., and two businesses at 4822 Pacific Ave.
The massage parlors are within a two-mile radius in the Lincoln District.