UPDATE by Sinclaire Sparkman at 12:45 p.m.:
Chief Faulkner of Franklin Police told reporters at a press conference that client lists will also be looked into, and equipment and property will be seized as the investigation continues.
“Hours of operation were very long, the demeanor of customers who came out very nervous, looking around, going through different areas, trying to hide their license plates and so on,” Faulkner said. “There are a number of legitimate spas in our community and they deserve not to have their reputation tainted by the commercialization of sex for sale in these seedy businesses.”
The operation had been going on for months, monitored by Franklin Police while they gathered evidence and did surveillance to build a case. There has not been any confirmed sex trafficking associated with the prostitution ring as of right now, but the police department wanted to have the End Slavery Tennessee organization on stand by if that activity was discovered.
“We’re gonna cover all the bases. We are not fooling around here. This is serious business and we want it stopped, whatever it takes. We are not a large police department,” Faulkner said. “So to have partners with other agencies to come in and assist with these and be additional eyes and ears, and also people who have the expertise of doing these interviews, it’s very helpful.”
BREAKING: 10:30 a.m.
An investigation by Franklin Police has led to the execution of six search warrants at locations across Franklin.
An in-depth investigation, prompted by citizen complaints, into suspicious activity at the Oriental Massage Center located at 400 Sugartree Lane led to today’s operation. The owner, Guoku Hu, owns a second Franklin massage parlor, Capital Chinese Foot Spa Massage at 4149 Mallory Lane. Significant prostitution activity and other violations were uncovered at both locations during detailed surveillance operations.
Search warrants are currently being executed at both massage parlors, along with four Franklin apartments associated to the businesses. Today’s operation is being supported by Homeland Security, FBI, TBI, and the organization End Slavery Tennessee.
A 11:15 Press Conference will be held, Williamson Source will continue covering this as details become available.
This is the second time in 6 months that Franklin Police have shut down a prostitution ring, in September, two individuals were arrested after their massage parlors were raided.
“The Franklin Police Department will continue to very proactively seek out and disrupt people and businesses that promote and participate in prostitution. If they think we’re going to put up with it, they guessed wrong,” Faulkner said.
Sinclaire Sparkman contributed to this report.