Over five years ago, prostitution arrests of escort services and massage parlors were a joke. When the police raided those places of prostitution back then, all they would do is arrest that one or two prostitutes working there, and perhaps a customer there at the time. The prostitutes would only face a minor misdemeanor and get away with paying a fine (just pennies compared to what they earned), the escort place or massage parlor would quickly re-open somewhere else, the pimps are still in power, and the johns (male customers) would quickly go to the new place.
Since 2010 prostitution arrests have gotten and continue to get more sophisticated, widespread, and severe. When law enforcement arrest prostitution rings, they shut them down from every angle. This is how it’s done.
1) Arrest the pimps and organizers, find and shut down all places of their prostitution ring
LE gets to the source. They place spy cameras around their businesses, and monitor and record everyone who enters their brothel. They use more spy cameras to trace johns, hookers, and pimps to their cars, get their license plate to identify them. Whether they are renting a hotel or apartment room, or mortgaging a business room, LE works with the hotel/apartment/building/property managers to get the full information on the pimps.
2) Arrest all the hookers, even if they aren’t working there at the time of the sting.
LE monitors and records the brothel carefully with spy cameras. When they make the sting, they seize all computers, cell phones, email and internet accounts, and any notes. They interrogate the pimps and hookers to get the full information of everyone who works there.
3) Arrest all the johns
Once the brothel is shut down and it is determined in court that escort room or massage parlor was a place of prostitution, LE can backtrack through their spy camera videos and identify the johns. They also use seized computers, cell phones, internet accounts, escort review websites, notes, and testimonies of hookers, bookers, and pimps arrested to identify the johns. LE then issues grand jury subpoenas and arrest warrants for the johns.
Investigators say they also found a call roster with what appeared to be customer telephone numbers. Authorities expect to make more arrests linked to this particular massage parlor.
Kirkland police officers sat in an undercover vehicle, watching a motel room of a supposed prostitute the night of July 10. What began as routine patrol for Kirkland police one Wednesday night, soon became a “John” bust after the four men were arrested for patronizing a prostitute at Motel 6, a low-priced motel in Kirkland’s Totem Lake neighborhood.
4) Apply the maximum penalties to the pimps, hookers, and johns
LE and the criminal court system doesn’t merely hand out prostitution related misdemeanors anymore. They hand out severe human trafficking sentences to place the pimps in prison for many long years or even decades, so the pimps can’t simply re-open their brothel somewhere else. LE keeps careful records of prostitution convictions for hookers and johns, so each subsequent prostitution charge gets considerably more severe. LE seizes all money and assets because prostitution is illegal, then add more felony records (racketeering and money laundering) and several more years to their long prison sentence.