MANSFIELD -- A Lexington Avenue massage parlor was one of 16 in northern Ohio raided recently in connection with a "long-term commercial sex investigation," according to the Ohio Investigative Unit.
The OIU, part of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, executed a search warrant at W&D Relax, Inc., 1523 Lexington Ave., Unit A, assisted by the Mansfield Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service Northern District of Ohio Task Force.
Search warrants were executed in seven counties, the OIU said.
In 2017, agents received complaints about possible illegal activity taking place in massage parlors. A two-year investigation revealed a group of individuals involved in an illegal commercial sex enterprise, the OIU said Wednesday in a press release.
"We will not turn a blind eye to criminal enterprises, such as this one," said Maj. Gary Allen, OIU commander. "We will continue to work with our partners to hold those accountable for their roles in commercial sex businesses."
Last week, a Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted the following people on counts of promoting prostitution: Jia Yue Dong, 42, Cui Rong Chen, 44, Fei Wang, 41, and Yan Wang, 41, all of Brunswick; Chengqiang Yu, 48, of North Royalton; and Robert Swartz, 50, of Copley.
A Medina County grand jury indicted Yulian Fu, 50, of North Royalton, on the same charge.
"These parlors were illegally operating throughout multiple communities, including four here in Cuyahoga County," said Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley. "I commend the multiple agencies involved who helped put an end to this criminal activity."
Massage parlors were also raided in Brunswick, Strongsville, Broadview Heights, Kent, Medina, Lorain, Wooster, Cleveland, Columbia Station and Avon. In some communities, search warrants were executed at multiple locations.