HOUSTON – More than two dozen charges were filed Wednesday after authorities conducted “Operation Red Light,” a raid on several sexually oriented businesses in and around the Houston area.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Harris County Precinct 4 Constables Office, US Customs and Immigration Enforcement and the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office targeted eight massage parlors in various locations around the County. The massage parlors included: Vienna Spa, Crystal Spa, QQ Night, AA Spa and Pearl.
The investigation was initiated after the recently adopted Harris County Sexually Oriented Business Ordinances, and complaints by citizens of these businesses.
The Sheriff’s Office arrested 16 employees of these establishments. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office accepted over 24 charges on them. The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office designated 48 fire code violations from locations targeted in the compliance checks.
The Harris County Attorney’s Office will be filing nuisance abatement violations against six of the locations.
“Our crime-fighting deputies will continue to bust SOBs for prostitution, illegal drugs, illegal gun possession, unlicensed serving of alcohol and other crimes, just we like we have done before,” Sheriff Adrian Garcia has said. “But the county regulations will, among other things, allow us to work with the County Attorney’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office and the constables to prevent some of these unwanted businesses from opening in the first place.”
SOBs will have to obtain licenses to operate legally, and a fire marshal’s inspection is one of the requirements of licensure. Information on the criminal backgrounds of any operators will also be required. The regulations provide for notice to, and input from, residents before any SOB can open.