GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Greenburgh Police reported Thursday that 19 people had been arrested and seven massage parlors in Greenburgh closed down in a major crackdown that involved Greenburgh Police and state and federal authorities.
The Greenburgh businesses closed are the Crystal Spa on Route 119 in Tarrytown, Forest Yin and Darea 54 on North Central Avenue, Yoyo Healing Spa on East Main Street, and Aroma Spa, Charming Spa and Gili Spa, all located on Central Park Avenue in Hartsdale and Scarsdale.
Police conducted an undercover operation Wednesday, where officers entered the businesses and requested massages. Police executed search warrants, seized business records and made arrests.
The women, who were charged with unauthorized practice of a profession, a felony under the state education law, ranged in age from 28 to 53 and all have Queens, New York addresses. They face felony charges and are accused of operating without proper licensing, Greenburgh Polce said.
"The high level of intelligence sharing and logistical assistance between all of the various agencies concerned was instrumental in closing down the illegal massage parlors in response to the public’s concern," Greenburgh Police Lt. Brian Ryan said in a news release. "The type of establishments targeted in this case has a negative affect with respect to the quality of life in the community. The investigation into these illegal operations is still ongoing."
Authorities have found no evidence the women were offering customers sexual or other illicit activities or that the women were trafficked as sex slaves. The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the federal Department of Homeland Security.
The arrests are the results of a year-long investigation that began in response to resident complaints.
Other agencies involved in the investigation were the New York State Attorney General’s Office, agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, New Yorj State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Elmsford Police Department.
Sixteen of the women are being arraigned Thursday in Greenburgh Town Court. The rest are being arraigned Thursday in Elmsford Village Court.