Human trafficking raid at local spa

News

A local spa owner is facing first-degree organized crime charges. 

McLennan County Sheriff’s deputies simultaneously served search warrants on Thursday morning at Sun Orchid Spa off West Waco Drive and an apartment off the 5000 block of Sanger Avenue.

“We just came to a head in the last couple days. We knew that they were selling sex out of the massage parlor here,” says Sheriff Parnell McNamara.

Deputies say when they raided the spa, they found two women living in the back part of the business.

“Both of these women, neither one of them could speak English. They’re living in the back room on mattresses on the floor. It just makes sick,” McNamara says.

Neighboring businesses say they knew something strange was going on, but couldn’t tell what it was.

“They would wash their undergarments, and then they had a little clothesline kind of thing that they would put out in the back. We just thought that was odd,” says Dr. Melody Martin, of Martin Hearing.

Deputies arrested 56-year-old Ren-Quan Zheng, who is charged with first-degree organized crime at a nearby apartment complex. Between the two locations, officers seized $43,000 dollars.

Sheriff McNamara tells FOX44 this isn’t the first time they have had to make an arrest at the Avila apartment complex. Just a few months ago in the Vegas Buffet Restaurant case, some of those owners were also arrested here.

So is anyone at fault? And could these two cases be related?

The manager of the complex told FOX44, “Everyone goes through the same application process.”

“We’re not faulting the apartment complex by any means. We haven’t seen anything that has them together, but we’re not ruling that out,” McNamara said.

The victim advocacy group Unbound was also on the scene to help.

“Our volunteer Unbound translators are really able to make them aware of what resources are available, and that the law enforcement is really there to try to get them out into services and not charge them as a criminal,” says UnboundNow.org Director Susan Peters.

Below is the original text from this story:

McLennan County sheriff’s investigators raided Sun Orchid Spa Thursday morning in Waco at 4716 West Waco Drive.  Deputies arrested one person, 55-year-old Renquan Zheng.  He is charged with engaging in organized crime, which is a 1st degree felony.

Two women were in the business at the time of the raid. According to Sheriff Parnell McNamara, they were living in the back part of the business, sleeping on mattresses on the floor. He says this is definitely a case of human trafficking

Unbound was on the scene to help translate as the women were of Asia decent. 

As of right now,  One woman is being described as a trafficking victim, no word yet on the status of the second woman

Deputies picked up the spa manager in a separate raid at 5000 Sanger Avenue.  During both raids, deputies seized a total of $43,000 in cash.

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