Alamance County sheriff Terry Johnson, two other nearby sheriffs, and a representative from a fourth department were part of a press conference Friday afternoon, celebrating a joint investigative effort among the four departments targeting internet crime against children and human exploitation.
The specific incident leading to the press conference was the arrest of two women on Tuesday on prostitution-related charges linked to Gentle Spring Spa operating out of a house at 1017 South Church Street in Burlington.
Johnson and the other sheriffs heralded the keen observation about suspicious activity at the house.
Women rarely were seen coming and going at the residence, according to a tipster who first alerted the sheriff’s department in October, while men were often observed coming and going frequently, but staying for only brief intervals.
Johnson said such a description immediately alerted his officers to the possibility of either drug sales or prostitution.
“When people see something unusual or that doesn’t make sense,” Johnson said they should contact law enforcement. “Well investigate, but we need the public’s help,” he said.
With Johnson were Randolph County sheriff Greg Seabolt, Davidson County sheriff Richie Simmons, and major Lane Koontz of the Forsyth County sheriff’s department.
A new center will open in Randolph County in April to house the four county inter-agency task force, Simmons mentioned, with Johnson noting that two Alamance County deputies will be assigned to the new facility.
Arrested were Yuhan Li, 61, who was determined to be the owner of the business. She was charged with one felony count of promoting prostitution.
Also charged was Jun Wang, 60, who was charged with one count each of prostitution and soliciting prostitution, both misdemeanors.
Li was put under a $50,000 bond, Wang under a $2,500 bond.
Wang, the sheriff noted, had been previously charged in another jurisdiction with prostitution.
Both women are of Chinese ancestry: Li is an American citizen; Wang is a foreign national who has a worker’s permit.
When the arrests were made, a naked man was also found in the South Church Street house/spa, claiming that he was merely having a foot massage, according to sheriff Johnson.