HESPERIA – Community complaints/concerns regarding potential illegal activity occurring at local businesses led to the closure of several massage and aromatherapy businesses located in the City of Hesperia.
A three-month-long inspection and compliance check of massage parlors and aromatherapy businesses were conducted by the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station, City of Hesperia Code Enforcement, and Homeland Security Investigations Human Trafficking Task Force. The extensive investigations included business license and compliance inspections of twenty-four massage parlors and two aromatherapy businesses in Hesperia. Dozens of employees were interviewed during the operation.
“Massage parlors are allowed skin to skin contact per their business licensing, however, no touching is allowed at aromatherapy businesses,” explained Hesperia Sheriff’s Station Spokeswoman Karen Hunt in the news release. Evidence was uncovered indicating that additional, unlicensed and/or illegal services were being offered to customers.
Due to their findings, the City of Hesperia Code Enforcement issued four notices to vacate to those businesses, some of whom had employees residing within the business location.
Others were issued notices of violations for minor infractions including renewing or posting of paperwork. Three were also arrested for suspected solicitation of prostitution and three additional businesses permanently closed voluntarily.
During this operation, Homeland Security Investigations Human Trafficking Task Force also shared educational information about Trafficking and Smuggling to business owners and employees. Hesperia Sheriff’s Station can be reached at (760)947-1500 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760)956-5001 or remain anonymous by calling We Tip at 800-78-CRIME.
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