The owners of massage businesses in Nevada City and Auburn were arrested Wednesday after a lengthy investigation into prostitution and possible human trafficking.
Xiu Jie “Julie” Feng, 48, and Phillip Hudson, 57, were arrested by a multi-jurisdictional force from Placer County, Nevada City, Auburn and the state Department of Justice after warrants were served at a residence and two massage businesses — one in Auburn and one in the 300 block of Railroad Avenue.
“We had received complaints about that location,” Nevada City Police Chief Tim Foley said of Oriental Health Therapy, which sits back from the street between Tri-Counties Bank and the Chevron gas station. “People didn’t think it was legit, and the information seemed credible enough that it demanded some attention.”
Foley said Officer Scott Goin started investigating the allegations in February and that Auburn Police detectives had been looking into similar allegations at Asian Massage Therapy & Foot in Auburn in January.
“Scott found out there was a connection with the place in Auburn,” Foley said, adding that the agencies then began collaborating.
An investigation into the owner of the businesses for possible human trafficking, pimping and pandering and prostitution was initiated that also included the Placer Special Investigation Unit, a group of officers from law enforcement agencies in Placer County and the state Department of Justice.
It was determined that Feng co-owns and manages the business in Auburn, and she also co-owns the business in Nevada City. Feng is the only person listed with a massage license at both businesses, but her license reportedly is fraudulent. The other co-owner is Hudson, Foley said.
According to Foley, the pair applied for a business license in November 2010.
“I have issued an order suspending the business license,” he said.
A thorough investigation was completed and numerous violations reportedly were observed. A search warrant was served Wednesday morning on the 100 block of McKenzie Court in Auburn and at the two businesses.
No employees were present at the Nevada City business and both Feng and Hudson were arrested in Auburn, Foley said.
Feng was arrested on suspicion of pimping, pandering, human trafficking and conspiracy, while Hudson was booked on suspicion of pimping, pandering and conspiracy. Both subjects were booked into the Placer County Jail, but their bail amounts were not immediately available.
They will be prosecuted in Placer County, Foley said.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact Bill Olson, commander of the Placer Special Investigation Unit, at 916-409-8298, or Auburn Police Chief John Ruffcorn at 530-823-4237, ext. 201.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.