COVINGTON, Ga. — Detectives and officers with the Covington Police Department, working in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, secretary of state's office, Newton County district attorney's office and Covington Fire Department executed search warrants on two local massage parlors and determined that they were operating outside of their normal business practices.

Covington Spa, located at 1065 Access Road, and Lucky 7 Spa, located at 8218 Hazelbrand Road NE, were each determined to have been operating as places of prostitution.

CPD detectives had been conducting undercover operations for the last four months at both spas and found that sexual acts were being offered to clients. The Department of Homeland Security was also conducting an investigation regarding human trafficking.

Equipment is on its way out of the spa. pic.twitter.com/VmEY9ONgBS

— The Covington News (@covnews) June 14, 2019

Three people have been arrested arrested and charged with prostitution, keeping a place of prostitution and masturbation for hire, along with at least 15 fire code violations at Lucky 7.

The contents of the two parlors were seized by investigators and collected as evidence.

Police are inside the Lucky 7 Spa in Covington. pic.twitter.com/oyc1kFChms

— The Covington News (@covnews) June 14, 2019

“Human trafficking has become a crisis in Metro Atlanta,” police Capt. Ken Malcom said. “Illegal massage therapy businesses are commonly linked with human trafficking.

“The Federation of State Massage Therapy Board Human Trafficking Task Force Report estimates that there are as many as 9,000 illegitimate massage parlors across the U.S.

“We will continue our investigation to determine if our locations have any workers tied into this horrible crime. We learned through our investigation so far that underground social media outlets that promote this kind of activity actually mentioned one of the businesses as a recommended location for prostitution activities.”

Jackie Gutknecht is the editor and publisher of The Covington News. She is a graduate of Georgia Southern University.

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