A sewage pipe clogged with hundreds of condoms led police to a suspected prostitution ring operating under the guise of a massage parlor in Austin, Texas.
Court documents filed Tuesday say that a real estate agent who had recently taken over a shopping plaza that leases space to several businesses told police of the property’s damaged pipes on Feb. 7, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Tenants of the building told the real estate agent that they believed Jade Massage Therapy, another tenant, was selling sexual services, the arrest affidavit said. The discarded condoms were presumably used by clients.
When Austin police raided the parlor six weeks later, they found a woman who co-managed the business in a massage room “with a completely nude and uncovered male,” according to court documents obtained by Reuters. A second woman was also found in a separate room with a naked man.
Police arrested Juan Wang and her husband, Joseph Emery, on suspicion of managing a prostitution enterprise. Police also uncovered more than $60,000 in cash in Emery and Wang’s home, according to Austin news station KVUE.
Austin police Sgt. Kevin Covington of the Human Trafficking and Vice Unit told the Statesman that the condom-clogged pipe was one of several pieces of evidence that helped police in their investigation.
“I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” Covington told the Statesman. “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.”