SPOKANE--Much of the “Operation Red Light” investigation relied on information that came directly from the women accused of being prostitutes themselves.
It took more than 18 months of investigation to take the 8 massage parlors down and at least two confidential informants, who worked inside the parlors themselves.
Special agents with the Washington State Gambling Commission first launched their joint investigation with Northern Quest Casino. They went undercover, ordering women on the notorious site Backpage.com. When the girls were arrested, documents show they admitted coming to Northern Quest often to engage in sex for money.
It was testimony like this that also brought down the massage parlors many of the women admitted to working in.
Authorities say Chin Day managed the Oriental Spa on Francis, telling girls not to ask for money, but that they could accept tips in exchange for sex.
One woman said she'd worked as a prostitute for six years, making up to $800 a week. Another was told if she wanted to make the most money, she should have sex with clients without a condom. All of the women were told to dispose of used condoms off-site to limit their chances of getting caught.
Many of the women themselves did cooperate in this investigation, but the owners and operators are still awaiting trial on numerous criminal charges.