BRACEVILLE - Two massage parlor employees were arrested on prostitution charges Thursday afternoon following a raid by Braceville police.
The Rose Spa, 4300 state Route 5, which opened in February, is the second establishment to be raided by police in less than a year at the location. Last summer, the previous business, Four Seasons Spa, was raided.
Braceville police Chief William Garro said the department received information and tips that prostitution was taking place at the establishment and conducted a month- to six-week-long investigation.
Police officers move in on the Rose Spa on Thursday afternoon after receiving tips of alleged prostitution taking place inside.
''We followed up with an investigation, and after finding probable cause for a search warrant, one was issued by Trumbull County Common Pleas Court,'' Garro said.
When police went inside, there were four female employees and one male patron. One employee was arrested and charged with prostitution after being caught engaged in a sex act with the patron, he said.
The manager of Rose Spa's was charged on an accusation of running a brothel, Garro said. The owner could also face charges, police said.
Names were not released Thursday, but those arrested are scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Monday in Newton Falls Municipal Court to face formal charges. Garro said the patron was deferred to prosecutor's office.
Evidence confiscated could lead to more arrests, he said. Police will also be looking at the leaseholder of the building, and the legal status of employees. There were living quarters at the spa, Garro said.
''We want the public to know that Braceville police will not tolerate this,'' he said.
''We never expected we would have to be doing this again. Just like the last time, we are looking for evidence of prostitution... These establishments have to understand that our township police will not stand for any unlawful activities and will investigate and apprehend any offenders,'' Garro said.
An investigation revealed at least six men had paid a $50 entrance fee and up to $120 for sex and sex acts, he said.
''We investigated those tips and after presenting the search warrant found an employee engaged with a customer in a sexual act and apprehended the two of them,'' he said.
A patrolwoman from Newton Falls was called in to assist and to search the four female employees for weapons since Braceville does not have any female police.
Garro said the male patron from Mansfield had to be checked by paramedics after saying he was having ''medical issues.'' A Braceville ambulance was at the scene for 20 minutes.
Police last raided the location on July 3 when it was the Four Seasons Spa, catching one customer engaged in sex acts with an employee, according to reports. Thursday's raid involved different people, Garro said.
Another difference at this raid is the police have obtained a nuisance-abatement claim and will shut the spa down, he said. It will be boarded up today and remain closed until an April 12 hearing in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
''No one will be allowed on the property until their hearing which will be in 10 days,'' he said.
Local spas have been under investigation in the area. Investigators with the state's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation raided eight of Warren's 10 massage parlors in May and the city later shuttered all eight for health code violations.
The Sunny Spa in Warren which has come under fire recently after a surprise health inspection found a scantily-clad employee helping a naked customer shower. Other spas in the area include the Tiger Spa, in Warren.
Another spa, Suzy Kims, is in Niles.