Police: husband, wife used Lapeer Co. massage parlors as fronts for prostitution
IMLAY CITY, Mich. (WNEM) – Police have arrested an Imlay City couple accused of operating massage parlors as fronts for prostitution.
After a five-month investigation, Anthony Joseph Juip, 72, and his wife, Qing Feng Xu, 58, have been charged with one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, a 20-year felony, and two counts of keeping a house of prostitution which are five-year felonies for each count.
Imlay City police report the investigation started in April 2022 at the massage parlor at 542 N. Cedar St. in Imlay City as an exterior ordinance violation, but a closer look at the licensing and legitimacy of the business led investigators to discover “an alarming set of facts.”
Investigators said undercover work eventually revealed the massage parlor at 542 N. Cedar St. and another at 420 Lake Nepessing Rd. in Lapeer were fronts for prostitution and potentially human trafficking.
In August, police executed search warrants at 542 N. Cedar St. in Imlay City, a home in Imlay City and 420 Lake Nepessing Rd. in Lapeer.
Imlay City police said four Chinese women working for Juip and Xu and living in Imlay City on work visas were detained. Investigators report the women were given victim assistance as police try to figure out whether they or other women from out of town are victims of human trafficking.
Investigators report most of the clientele at the massage parlors were from out of town and drove 40 to 50 minutes to Imlay City.
Imlay City’s police chief thanked Michigan State Police, the Lapeer County sheriff, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for helping with the investigation.
The Imlay City Police Department is urging any women who have had contact with these businesses to call 810-724-2345.
Juip and Xu are expected to be back in court on Sep. 26.
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