FBI and local police raid a spa in Wheat Ridge suspected of being a front for prostitution

Neighboring businesses say bust long overdue

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. - The FBI and local police raided a Wheat Ridge spa suspected of being a front for prostitution on Tuesday afternoon.

7NEWS cameras were there just before 3 p.m as police and undercover agents moved in on the Abalone Spa on 38th Avenue.

Owners of many neighboring businesses say the raid was long overdue. They said it was always men coming and going from the spa.

"I just noticed a bunch of detectives and cops...rushing the spa," said witness Alex Montoya.

"And they went into the spa and took somebody out in handcuffs," said a neighboring business owner. "Finally. Finally."

She said the so-called "spa" has been nothing but trouble.

"We know what's been going on there isn't right," she said. "And it's scary that the city doesn't care -- seem to care."

The FBI did not comment, other than to say a search warrant was executed at the spa.

The FBI did imply, however, that Tuesday's bust may be related to several arrests back in June. That's when 22 female escorts who were advertising on the websites preferred411.com and denverbackpage.com were taken into custody. An FBI press release at the time called it an effort to crack down on prostitution and human trafficking in Colorado.

Detectives were on the scene at the Abalone Spa for several hours Tuesday afternoon and evening.

"It's been extremely frustrating and it's been going on for a minimum of three years," said a business owner. "I'm very happy to see what happened here today."


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