William James Hartwell faces possible charges of running a house of prostitution after Phoenix police raided his business Thursday. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Phoenix police arrested seven people at what police called a self-serve porn studio allegedly used to front a prostitution business near Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport.
William James Hartwell, the owner of New Media Studios near 40th Street and Interstate 10, and six women were arrested during a raid on the studio Thursday, Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos said.
Martos said the prostitution business had been in operation for about a year, and the arrests culminated a six-month investigation.
"We became aware of this particular business and conducted an undercover operation with the FBI to look into these activities," he said. "And, ultimately, what we discovered was this was nothing more than a house of prostitution."
Men would come in and pay $140 for a half-hour, Martos said. They were allowed to have sex with a woman of their choosing and be filmed or have still photos taken, Martos said.
Hartwell and the women could face various charges related to prostitution, Martos said.
The other arrests included Michelle Marchetti, 24; Shelby Dunn, 20; Tammie Torres, 23; Adrianna Aguirre, 22; Danielle Bell, 20; and, Amber Mackenzie, 25.
A man who does construction work for a nearby business, and wants to remain anonymous, told CBS 5 News he had suspicions about what really went on at New Media Studios.
"(I) just saw a lot of girls going in and out," he said. "Short skirts - dressed up. A lot of business type of guys going in and out."
Police said there could be more arrests as the investigation continues.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
UPDATE7 arrested in suspected Phoenix prostitution ringMore>>