PICKERINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force is investigating at a Pickerington massage parlor, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office confirmed Tuesday.
Pickerington police and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation vehicles surrounded the strip mall that contained Massage Experts, and had the area blocked off with crime scene tape as of 11 a.m. The attorney general’s office said the human trafficking investigators were serving multiple search warrants inside of the parlor, and that the group of agencies suspected the parlor of being an illegal front for human trafficking, prostitution and money laundering.
Pickerington police said separately that the group served the search warrants after an eight-month investigation. They remained at the scene, located at 1234 Hill Rd. North, to process evidence in the parlor. Alongside the strip mall location, the attorney general’s office said law enforcement also carried out a search warrant at a private residence in Pickerington related to the parlor investigation.
Pickerington police did not identify the owner of the massage parlor or any suspects charged in the case as of Tuesday. However, a notice posted on the shop’s door was addressed to the strip mall property owner and a person on file for Massage Experts with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, and revoked its massage establishment license.
Pickerington Police Chief Tod Cheney said his department received complaints about the business within the past year, and quickly got state agencies involved to look into it together.
“With the search warrants executed, that just means we’re right in the middle of this investigation,” Cheney told NBC4. “It’s not the beginning stage, I’d say we’re still in the middle.”
Pickerington police asked anyone with information related to criminal activity at Massage Experts to call 614-575-6911.