ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. — The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and Rock Springs Police Department have been investigating a potential human trafficking operation based out of a Rock Springs massage parlor, SCSO announced Tuesday.
SCSO served a search warrant on Tuesday after months of investigating, the agency said via press release.
“Earlier this year, we began investigating the alleged performance of sexual acts at an Asian massage parlor in the 600 block of Broadway in Rock Springs,” SCSO Spokesperson Jason Mower said in a statement. “We believe the masseuses and others working there are trafficking victims forced or otherwise coerced to perform labor, including sex acts, as part of a larger network of organized criminal enterprise possibly operating throughout the region.”
Mower added that no arrests have been made yet, “given the case’s complexity,” and the investigation remains active and ongoing. Anyone with information about the matter should contact the case’s lead detective, Lieutenant Michelle Hall, at 307-922-5331.
“Illicit massage parlors are often hidden in plain sight, putting on a facade of legitimacy to conceal their criminal activity and avoid detection by law enforcement,” Hall said in the press release. “This is a known issue and growing trend. These businesses operate in every state nationwide. Unfortunately, many of those engaged in commercial sex as part of these types of operations are actually labor and sex trafficking victims.”
Local FBI and Homeland Security Investigations agents participated in the search, according to the announcement. The YWCA of Sweetwater County and the Asian Pacific Development Center of Aurora, Colorado, have also been involved in the case, providing services to assist trafficking victims.
If you or someone you know needs help, reach the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or https://humantraffickinghotline.org/en.