AUSTIN – Large numbers of condoms clogging and destroying a sewage pipeline exposed a prostitution ring operating out of an Austin massage parlor, according to court records.
Other tenants in the building had already been suspicious that sex was for sale at Jade Massage Therapy LLC, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The condoms — likely flushed after use — were found in an industrial disposal unit that connected the property to Austin’s sewer system.
The condoms were just one clue that helped police discover the sex ring, said Sgt. Kevin Covington with the Austin police Human Trafficking and Vice Unit. But he confirmed it was the tip that got his attention.
“I was like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,’ ” he said. “It’s not the normal tip you would get, or lead you would get on a place committing criminal activity, but it happened, so that helped us out.”
The police investigation revealed that a phone number tied to the business was used to advertise sexual services for another location known as “Jade Massage.”
Investigators served a search warrant March 22 at the second location. In doing so, they found two women and a naked man. One of the women was Juan Wang, who owns the business with her husband, Joseph Emory.
According to court records, Wang and Emory face charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and money laundering. The Statesman reported that neither was in custody Tuesday at the Travis County Jail
In February 2017, Wang was stopped by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport security with $30,000 in U.S. currency. She said the money was for a medical procedure, and she was allowed to fly to China after giving police her phone number.
It was that phone number police connected to the sexual service ads.