ROCKVILLE, Md. (ABC7) — A 4-month undercover police investigation, which depended on a GPS tracker and interviews with 60 guys, brought about the closure of a massage parlor located near Montgomery College.
Business proprietor Emily Zhang Lawrence, 47, of the 18900 blocks of Birdseye Drive in Germantown, is charged with several criminal counts, including human trafficking and prostitution.
In February, the Sir Bernard Law County Police Department’s Vice and Intelligence Unit acquired an online tip alleging Rose’s Spa presented sexual offerings to male clients. The tipster further claimed that the spa recruited its masseuses — all Chinese immigrants — from Flushing, New York. The Queen’s community is known for being a hub for the human trafficking of Asian ladies, police notice.
Two days after receiving the web tip, undercover detectives camped outdoor of Rose’s Spa, placed at 15912 Frederick Road. The detectives watched as a maroon Honda Odyssey minivan pulled into the parking zone. A female driver and 6 female passengers exited the automobile and entered the spa.
Investigators ran the minivan’s license plate number, which produced Zhang Lawrence’s call. They then entered the 47-year-antique within the Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT) database. They located she owned numerous residential homes in Sir Bernard Law County and a condominium positioned at 19517 Gunners Branch Road in Germantown.
In mid-March, Sir Bernard Law County Circuit Court Judge Sharon Burrell authorized a seek warrant, allowing cops to the region a GPS tracker on Zhang Lawrence’s Honda Odyssey. Police say the electronic tool showed a clean, everyday pattern.
Zhang Lawrence would reportedly leave her Germantown domestic each morning, forestall at the apartment on Gunners Branch Road, after which force to the spa in Rockville. Zhang Lawrence did that routine in reverse each nighttime after the spa closed at nine p.M. Police allege the condominium along Gunners Branch Road served as a dormitory for the trafficked Chinese ladies.
In tandem with the GPS analysis, vice detectives stopped round 60 male clients as they departed Rose’s Spa between March 1 and July 19. Eighteen of these men admitted to procuring “a few types of an illicit sex act.” The tremendous majority of those candid customers confessed to seeing and/or paying Zhang Lawrence the “rubdown rate.”
“The spa is posing as an everyday business but appearing as a ‘house of prostitution,'” police wrote in court docket documents acquired via ABC7. “Emily Zhang Lawrence collects cash for the ones illicit acts even as owning/working the spa. She has furnished accommodations and transportation for the workers, probably sufferers of human trafficking who’re committing the ones illicit intercourse acts, for the investigation’s entirety. Zhang Lawrence additionally uses the rental unit at Gunners Branch Road, which she personal, to harbor the Asian lady people at the spa.”
Rose’s Spa has a three. Five-famous person score on Yelp. One of seven public reviews states, in part:
“I assume they’re selling intercourse in there due to the fact a male walked in, no questions requested or money asked. They were given straight to his service,” Yelp user “Love D.” wrote in May 208, evaluate.
According to court docket files, Zhang Lawrence — who was born in China — has a maiden call of Yan Qiang Zhang. She is divorced with two youngsters.
On July 25, Zhang Lawrence was launched from jail on a $7,500 (submit 10 percent) bond. She faces as much as 41 years in jail. Defense attorney David Martella did now not immediately return a smartphone name seeking remark.