New information has been released Thursday in the case of the recent prostitution sting in Harker Heights.
Three people were arrested, more than $70,000 seized, and three vehicles impounded after multiple state and federal law enforcement agencies conducted a sting operation on a massage parlor in Harker Heights Tuesday.
Jingning Lin, 48, of Harker Heights; Hai Yan Zhang, 50, of Harker Heights; and Limei Godfrey, 45, of Lago Vista, were arraigned Wednesday on charges of aggravated promotion of prostitution; engaging in organized criminal activity — aggravated promotion of prostitution; and engaging in organized criminal activity — money laundering.
Executed search warrants culminated from an “extensive investigation” into Foot Spa, a business located in the 300 block of West Central Texas Expressway in Harker Heights, police said.
“On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, members of the Bell County Organized Crime Unit, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Harker Heights Police Department, Texas Office of the Attorney General, and U.S. Immigration conducted search and arrest warrant service operations in Harker Heights, Texas,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s department issued Thursday morning. “The search warrants sought evidence of the crimes of: aggravated promotion of prostitution and engaging in organized criminal activity.”
According to an arrest affidavit for the case, in September and October police received citizen complaints concerning texts and photographs sent from Foot Spa seemingly advertising “young and beautiful female Asian masseuses.”
From November 2020 to April 2021, according to the affidavit, the Bell County Organized Crime Unit conducted four undercover operations where an undercover agent posing as a patron would enter the Foot Spa, pay for a $60 one-hour full body massage, to see if the agent would be solicited to engage in prostitution or sexual conduct.
“During one of the massages, an Asian female masseuse advised the agent verbally, the agent could receive a ‘hand job’ for $60 or have straight sex with her for $200,” the affidavit states.
Foot Spa, along with two residences and a commercial storage location were searched after warrants were issued by Judge Steven J. Duskie of the 426th Judicial District Court in Bell County, the news release said.
“Additional warrants also issued by Judge Duskie were served at financial institutions in Bell and Harris Counties,” the news release said. “Pursuant to the search warrants, evidence of the aforementioned crimes were recovered and agents have seized more than $70,000 in US currency, and three vehicles to date. Social services were provided to suspected victims of human trafficking by Refugee Services of Texas.”
Each of the arrested persons were arraigned by Justice of the Peace Gregory Johnson of Precinct 4 Bell County on Wednesday, with bonds set on each person at $250,000.
The three arrested are facing prison terms from 15 to 99 years if convicted, according to the release. They were in the Bell County jail on Thursday morning.