Rockwood police: spa kept low profile before prostitution bust

Rockwood police: spa kept low profile before prostitution bust

Posted:
The raid at Interstate Spa on Highway 27 was part of a statewide prostitution and human trafficking investigation dubbed "Operation Paladin." The raid at Interstate Spa on Highway 27 was part of a statewide prostitution and human trafficking investigation dubbed "Operation Paladin."
Investigators are now trying to determine if there's any connection between the dozen or so spas hit in this statewide sting. Investigators are now trying to determine if there's any connection between the dozen or so spas hit in this statewide sting.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

ROCKWOOD (WATE) - Neighboring businesses and law enforcement say a Rockwood spa kept a low profile before it was busted last week.

The raid at Interstate Spa on Highway 27 was part of a statewide prostitution and human trafficking investigation dubbed "Operation Paladin."

No arrests were made in this bust, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says there was enough evidence and probable cause to get a search warrant at Interstate Spa.

Investigators are now trying to determine if there's any connection between the dozen or so spas hit in this statewide sting.

Businesses near Interstate Spa say it's surprising to hear about a prostitution and human trafficking sweep since they didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

"I don't think that they caused any problems in other words there weren't any brawls or things that would make you think 'Oh wow, what's going on over there?' I don't think anybody pays attention to it so I'm glad the state is taking it seriously," said restaurant owner Jacki Hill.

Interstate Spa was the only massage parlor or spa in Roane County included in this statewide investigation. However, Rockwood City Police Chief Danny Wright says it's unclear what the scope of the problem is at the business.

"It's not an appreciable number of complaints. It's kind of low key and most places stay low key," added Chief Wright.

Chief Deputy Tim Phillips with the Roane County Sheriff's Office says during the bust on Friday, three people were at the business: two employees and one customer.

"We're looking for credit card receipts, papers, ledgers, things that could be utilized in some type of criminal activity," added Chief Deputy Phillips.

While there were no arrests yet at this spa, it's still an open investigation and the business is simply closed.

Chief Wright says it's not unreasonable to think more busts like this one can be expected in the future.

"I would say they're on the radar now," he said.

Chief Wright says based on the spa's history and advertising along the interstate, he believes clientele consisted of travelers simply passing through Rockwood.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.