The Seattle Police Department arrested 204 men during a 10-day prostitution sting, which involved opening up their brothel and arresting the people who solicited sexual services. The arrests were the most successful ones in the local police’s history.

By the end of the mission, which began July 5, the authorities earned more than $22,000 in cash. This money was handed over by the men who expected to receive sexual services from undercover female officers, as reported by the Seattle Times.

Seattle Police Officers lead out a man arrested for sexual exploitation in the University District July 11. In May, the SPD’s Vice & High-Risk Victims Unit shut down the Bamboo Spa in the University District due to prostitution activity and reopened as a ‘Euro Spa’ massage parlor, advertising for prostitution services on Credit: Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times.

The volume, of arrests and money, was never anticipated by the authorities, commented Sgt. Tom Umporowicz. He also estimated over $550,000 in fines for the operations, assuming that all the men arrested were caught for the first time.

Known as “Bamboo Spa,” the local brothel was shut down in May by local authorities after complaints prompted an undercover investigation. After that, the police reopened and continued with the service, but this time aimed to catch solicitation. According to Umporowicz, People have been complaining over those massage parlors for a long time and the operation was focused on a problem important for the community.

The owner of Bamboo Spa, and another brothel named Cherry Spa was charged with two counts of second-degree promoting prostitution in connection with two of the five Chinese nationals. The 38-year-old women claimed that the business was very slow, and makes no money, although the detectives seized $24,561 in cash and numerous receipts for Western Union money transfers.

The building’s owner assured to be horrified by the discoveries and agreed to allow the vice unit to set up the shop there.

‘A waste of time’

However, not everyone received the news from a positive perspective. KIRO Radio’s Don O’Neill commented that the arrests were a “complete waste of time.” He noted that the Seattle police is understaffed by more than 340 officers and that they are currently working overtime to deal with the protests related to the shootings across the country, dealing with a heroin epidemic and a massive homeless problem.

“This is ridiculous; this cost a lot of money and is tomfoolery,” O’Neill commented. “You pick up the phone and call the police, and they are not coming. Well, because we are using our men- and women-power to do stuff like this.”

He added that it would be an entirely different thing if police went after sex-traffickers or people who pressure and abuse underage girls involved in sex work. Instead, he commented, the police is attacking the lives of workers and lonely Seattle residents.

Source: Seattle Times