Is Greenbelt's Location Near the Beltway Attracting Brothels?
Two prostitution businesses were busted by police within two consecutive weeks.
Greenbelt police raided a massage parlor Friday and gathered evidence that it was actually a front for an Asian brothel, according to police officials.
But it wasn't the first prostitution business shut down by police this year. Just two weeks ago, Prince George's County Police closed down another massage parlor in Greenbelt after it was discovered to be operating a prostitution ring.
TK Therapy, the business suspected as an Asian brothel in the most recent sting, was busted for prostitution last year, but after taking a brief hiatus, returned to business as usual, police officials said. Two other businesses were also suspected to be a guise for prostitution last year, Greenbelt Patch reported.
So is Greenbelt's prime location along the Beltway helping prostitution operations find a place in the city? Greenbelt Police spokeswoman Kelly Lawson said it could be the case.
Lawson said Greenbelt is in a well-placed commercial area between two major cities and along major thoroughfares.
"The easy access Greenbelt offers attracts a number of legally run businesses to the City," she said. "So it would stand to reason that illegal businesses feel they could similarly benefit."
However, Lawson said police are aware and being proactive.
"With that in mind, monitoring and intelligence gathering of suspected brothel locations has increased, and investigators are keeping watch for any new locations that might start up," she added.
Yet, after they are busted some of the businesses reopen their doors and continue their illegal activity—like police suspect TK Therapy did after it was raided last year.
Lawson said that the "investigation of such operations is lengthy and multifaceted."
She added that last year's investigations are ongoing and will be merged with the raid on Friday and its investigation.
"Sometimes it takes multiple raids to gather enough conclusive evidence to finally force a business to close permanently," Lawson added.
Lawson said because the investigations are ongoing she could not conclude whether the businesses were connected.
Last year, police also arrested 30 people involved in a prostitution ring in some of College Park's hotels.
Tell Us: Do you think Greenbelt's location near the Beltway is helping attract illegal activity? Do you think the police can do more to control the situation?
Read more about prostitution investigations in Greenbelt:
- Greenbelt Police Raid 2 Suspected Prostitution Houses (June 2011)
- Greenbelt Police Raid 3 Suspected Brothels (Feb. 2012)
- TK Therapy One of Suspected Brothels in Police Raid (Feb. 2012)
- More than 30 Arrested in Prostitution Sting (College Park Patch/Aug. 2012)
- PGPD: Undercover Investigation Reveals Prostitution Ring at Greenbelt Massage Parlor (Feb. 2013)
- Asian Brothel Raided and Closed in Greenbelt (March 2013)