SPOKANE, Wash. -- Two Asian spa owners arrested in “Operation Red Light” are now suing the Airway Heights Police Department.
Last summer, investigators shut down eight Spokane massage parlors for involvement in a suspected prostitution ring. Spa owners say police illegally seized evidence.
Since the raid, the evidence has been kept under wraps for what’s called special inquiry.
Attorneys for the spa owners want the property back, and are now suing the Airway Heights Police Department because of it.
The raids last July were part of a 14-month investigation into eight local parlors. Detectives say the spas were part of a large scale prostitution ring. Six spa owners were arrested, and thousands of items were seized as evidence.
Chin Day and Yong Kassim, two spa owners, have filed lawsuits.
More than $75,000 in property was seized from Kassim, including a Mercedes and cash, along with documents.
Investigators took cash and CD’s from Day.
Kassim’s attorney Mark Vovos claims he hasn’t received the search warrant affidavit and says it’s his client’s absolute right to see the evidence against her.
Court documents say, “The seizure of the items set forth herein was without probable cause or any lawful authority, was illegal, and in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution."
It goes on to say, "The seized items had no nexus to any alleged illegal activities, and were not related to promoting prostitution in the second degree and/or money laundering."
Vovos say his client has suffered damages, including the loss of her property and invasion of privacy.
A motion hearing was set for Thursday morning. The attorneys planned to argue for the seized property to return to their clients.