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 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 outside Rose’s Spad at 15912 Frederick Road. The detectives watched a maroon Honda Odyssey minivan pull into the parking zone. A female driver and six passengers exited the vehicle 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. She owned numerous residential homes in Sir Bernard Law County and a condominium at 19517 Gunners Branch Road in Germantown.
In mid-March, Sir Bernard Law County Circuit Court Judge Sharon Burrell authorized a search 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 Gunners Branch Road apartment; she was forced 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 around 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.” Most of those candid customers confessed to seeing and 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 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 illicit intercourse acts, for the investigation’s entirety. Zhang Lawrence uses the rental unit at Gunners Branch Road, which she personally uses 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 because 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 — 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 prison. Defense attorney David Martella did not immediately return a smartphone name-seeking remark.