Richmond police arrested six women on charges of promoting prostitution Tuesday after a raid at three massage parlors.
The arrests were the result of a three-month investigation by Richmond police and Kentucky State Police.
Search warrants were served at Yoshiko's Oriental Health Spa, 160 Northgate Drive; Fuji Health Studio, 219 S. Porter Drive; and Ocean Health Spa, 497 Eastern Bypass, Richmond police said. The searches resulted in the recovery of about $16,300 in cash from the three locations.
Those arrested were Sun Aldrich, 52, of Oklahoma City, Okla.; Myong Sim Tarver, 54, of Los Angeles; Sue Jones, 75, of Richmond; Chong H. Brown, 48, of Surf City, N.C.; Pun Suk Ray, 52, of League, Texas; and Maria Lee, 56, of Aurora, Colo., police said in a release. They were being held in the Madison County jail.
Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock said Jones, the oldest woman charged, was identified as the manager of Yoshiko's Oriental Health Spa. Brock said the other women "were offering services" to men.
Based on the addresses given by the other women, Brock said he suspects they are "moved all over the country."
"It's basically human trafficking," he said. "They move them from one site to the other. They probably use the same address every place they go."
No human trafficking charges were filed.
A 2007 study by the University of Kentucky documented as many as 69 cases of human trafficking in the state.
It is a felony in Kentucky to force someone into labor, domestic work or the sex trade. But Brock said "it's difficult to prove in these cases, because you have a hard time getting anybody to cooperate with you. Often, if the women get released on bond, they disappear. They're usually not cooperative with authorities."
The three locations raided Tuesday are "shut down for the moment," Brock said. "We're going to see what measures we can take to keep it that way. We're exploring that right now."