AUSTIN, Texas — A sewer pipe clogged with condoms beneath a massage parlor led police to uncover a prostitution ring in Texas’ capital.
Austin police said they were tipped off in early February to what was going on behind closed doors at Jade Massage Therapy when a new realty company that had taken over the property said a waste pipe leading from the building had been destroyed by a jumble of hundreds of condoms.
Cops said other tenants in the building believed that the massage parlor was doubling as a prostitution operation.
Human Trafficking and Vice Unit Sgt. Kevin Covington told the Austin Statesman that investigators were stunned to discover the backed-up pipe, and that it served was one of several key pieces of evidence.
“I was like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,’” he told the paper. “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.”
Police busted Jade Massage’s owner Juan Wang and her husband Joseph Emery and charged them with engaging in organized criminal activity and money laundering.
Just days before discovering the condom-clogged pipe, Wang came onto authorities radar when she tried to board a flight to China carrying $30,000 in cash wrapped up in duct-taped bundles.
A contact number she gave cops was later linked to several listings on an adult services website advertising sexual services at Jade Massage.
After securing a warrant, cops raided the facility and found Wang in a room with a naked man. A second employee was also found in another room with a naked man, cops said.