WHITSETT, N.C. â€" A 52-year-old woman is behind bars following a prostitution and human trafficking investigation in Guilford County and more arrests could be on the way.
Lixiang Chen is charged with two felony counts of promoting prostitution and one count of continuing criminal enterprises after deputies with the Guilford County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant at Stoney Creek Spa and Skin Care Center in Whitsett.
A second search was conducted at a home in Cary by the Cary Police Department.
As a result of the searches, authorities seized $30,000 cash and three vehicles. The two victims, who are not U.S. citizens but are in North Carolina legally, are safe and getting help from World Relief Triad and the Triad Rapid Response Team. One of the victims is 33 years old and the other victim is 46 years old.
Sheriff BJ Barnes says the sheriff's office has identified some customers who engaged in sex acts with the victims and more arrests could be on the way.
â€śIf youâ€™ve got complaints and if there are issues like this out here let us know about it. Weâ€™ll look into them and weâ€™ll try to follow up and follow up until itâ€™s conclusion, which in this particular case is somebody going to jail and property being taken away. We donâ€™t want this kind of activity,â€ť said Sheriff Barnes.
Sheriff Barnes says human trafficking is likely still going on in Guilford County and across the country, citing polarisproject.org, which reports there are about 9,000 illicit massage businesses across the United States.
A business owner who works near the Stoney Creek Spa and Skin Care Center says people in the area have suspected there was human trafficking at the spa for the last few months. He says that people were seen bringing groceries and washing clothes outside of the spa on several occasions.