The Jackson County Sheriff’s department has held Chan Y Martin, 41, and Young Ha Kim Carlton, 39, on a misdemeanor charge of prostitution.
Given the age and surnames of the women, it is unlikely they are the victims of human trafficking. They are likely citizens or permanent residents who were previously married to American servicemen in Korea and followed them home to America. Sometimes these servicemen were unwitting victims in a ploy for citizenship, sometimes the women were victims of abusive relationships, and other cases have found where servicemen were compensated to enter into sham marriages in order to facilitate a green card.
The above scenarios are quite frequent in the Korean massage parlor world. Law enforcement in other jurisdictions have also found that women frequently rotate between establishments and states in order to allude arrest and also so the women can be a “fresh face.”
Often the women working in the spas will also live in the location. If they don’t have a car, there are “taxi” services that women pay to ferry them from state to state in search of a new location.
Owners of establishments may be in name only. Just as the working girls rotate, so does ownership. Indeed, JJ Spa was previously known as 777 Spa. It was shutdown for a period and chatter on the review boards is that local law enforcement was taking a closer look at such establishments.
A one year investigation has thus far only yielded two misdemeanor arrests. Tony Lawrence says they are reviewing records. With people’s penchant for paying with plastic, there is likely a long paper trail of johns, although those cases would be nearly impossible to prosecute.
What Lawrence is likely seeking is the ownership of the establishment. Lawrence should have already had records from the county tax assessor and collector in the form of personal property renditions and payments. The business’ privilege license would also have yielded a name. WLOX’s cameras caught what appeared to be Morris Strickland reviewing a lease with an investigator. Whose name is on the lease, on the credit card merchant accounts, and any associated checking accounts?
The cash flows associated with these operations are substantial and often involve laundering the money offshore to escape confiscation. One case in Dallas found a woman shipping thousands in cash stuffed into boxes of cookies to relatives in Korea.