MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A salon in a popular plaza to shop and eat in Manlius got stung by police on Monday, who say the Cherry Blossom Spa on West Seneca Street offered more than massages.
While appearing to be a legitimate business, according to police, their investigation uncovered signs of human trafficking.
This raid at the Cherry Blossom Spa has been in the works for weeks. Manlius Police had set up surveillance, watching for signs of information that came in through a tip.
“Indicating that they thought there was criminal activity going on within the business and this is not the first time we’ve been here,” said Sergeant Ken Hatter.
It’s their third time, this time finding signs two women arrested, not only worked there, but they were living there. Police found beds and a makeshift kitchen.
“It’s not obviously designed for a residence, it’s a commercial business and we want to make sure people are here, working their own free will and they could have the best life for coming into the country,” Hatter said.
As with other massage parlor stings, the women arrested will be offered help to escape the sex trafficking trade.
“Hopefully we can prevent them from continuing this type of business,” Hatter said.
That’s if they show up for their court appearance. As past cases have shown, convincing them to give up their traffickers remains a major hurdle.
As for whether the owner of the spa will be charged, Manlius Police say that’s part of the investigation with State Police and the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office.