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Manchester building search tied to two Bay State arrests
MANCHESTER — A Howe Street apartment building was searched Thursday in connection with a human trafficking and prostitution ring involving massage parlors in Massachusetts.
The owners of two parlors in the Massachusetts communities of Wellesley and Revere were arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit and Massachusetts State Police.
Zhen Lai, 37, of Quincy, Mass., and Joseph Girouard, 55, of Revere, were each charged with one count of trafficking in persons for sexual servitude and keeping a house of ill fame, according to a release from Massachusetts State Police.
Manchester Police Lt. Michael Hurley said an apartment building at 551 Howe St. was searched Thursday by federal authorities. He said Manchester police assisted the federal agents, but had no role in the investigation.
The Massachusetts release said the arrests are the result of an investigation into allegations of human trafficking and prostitution at Sun Spa, also known as Sun Studio, in Wellesley, and Bodywork in Revere. The release said the parlors were offering sexual activity between masseuses employed by Lai and Girouard and their clients in exchange for cash that was characterized as “tips.” Lai and Girouard advertised the two spas on websites known to advertise prostitution, the release said.
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