Prostitution storefront shut down

Three arrests related to prostitution were made at this location on West Market Street. More arrests are expected.

Three individuals were arrested and charged in connection with criminal activity related to prostitution at a business operated in Rockport. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

The arrests took place at the Bluebonnet Aroma business at 1521 West Market St., suite D., Thursday, Jan. 22 at about 5:30 p.m.

Alien Sapha Grady, 65, of Honolulu was arrested and charged with prostitution, engaging in organized criminal activity and money laundering, more than $1,500, but less than $20,000. She posted bonds of $3,000 and two for $10,000 and was released. Soutchay Sayasavanh, 33, of Laos was charged with promoting prostitution, engaging in organized criminal activity and money laundering, more than $1,500, but less than $20,000. She also posted bonds of $3,000 and two for $10,000 and was released.

Christopher Lozano, 35, of Alice, was a customer at the time, and he was arrested and charged with prostitution. He posted bond of $1,500 and was released.

According to an investigator with the Aransas County Sheriff’s Office, the office received calls from residents who had concerns about the local business. They noted men as regular customers of the business, however if a woman attempted to make an appointment, it was not allowed.

A businessperson operating in the area said, “Everyone around here knew it was going on, and we reported the activity. It was so blatant.”

The individual also said, “There were days nobody came by. I guess they were tired. Then there were days one (customer) would leave and another would show up.”

An investigation including surveillance of the business, and the use of undercover officers began, said the ACSO investigator.

Undercover officers went in for massages and/or spa treatment, and within 10 minutes of arrival were offered the services of “oral” or “manual” sex. The undercover officials turned down the additional services. Over the course of the investigation, other undercover officers were sent in, and the pattern continued.

The ACSO also looked at the business website and were able to find information about “escort services” and “sexual” services on the back page. The investigator said, “It was straight porno.”

The ACSO received assistance and guidance from District Attorney Mike Welborn and were able to obtain an affidavit for a search warrant.

In addition to making the arrests, officers also confiscated evidence supporting the fact the business was not a typical massage parlor including used condoms, and a large amount of money which will be seized since it is proceeds gained from an illegal business.

The investigator also said businesses such as this are springing up all over the United States. The ACSO is soliciting help from other law enforcement agencies around the United States as they have found links to other businesses going to the east and west of Texas. Thus far, there have been no links to anywhere north of Texas.

He pointed out this is the second such business in two years which was discovered in Rockport. He thanked the residents who provided anonymous tips, emphasizing residents in Rockport have proven they do not want that type of business here. He urged them to continue to provide information to local law enforcement agencies by calling 729-2222 or 729-1111 or 729-TIPS (8477).

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