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Prostitution sweep in Bergen nets 27 arrests, cash, closures

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

CLIFFVIEW PILOT SCOOP: Quick strikes by Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli’s investigators, in tandem with the county sheriff and several local police departments, netted 27 prostitution arrests, more than $27,000 seized and the closures of everal massage parlors across the county and an illegal “in-call” prostitution ring operating from a Paramus hotel.

Eleven of those charged the past two weeks were snatched up at the unidentified hotel, Molinelli said.

What’s more, a dozen massage parlors alleged to have offered more than rubdowns were hit, with some being closed.

Five of them were in Edgewater alone:

Aqua Spa, 824 River Road: Two people arrested.
World Spa, 1030 River Road: One person arrested.
Jade Spa, 872 River Road: Two arrested.
River Wellness Spa, 28 Dempsey Avenue: One arrested.
Hudson Therapy, 360 Old River Road: One arrested.

In each case, the defendant solicited an undercover police officer for sex, Molinelli said.

Also hit:

Asian Body Rub, 68 Schraalenburgh Road, Harrington Park: One arrest.
Spa 46, 480 Boulevard, Garfield: Two arrests.
Hana Spa, 520 Bergen Boulevard, Palisades Park: One arrest.
Ocean Spa, 66 East Main Street, Ramsey: One arrest.
Heavenly Exit, 546 Valley Brook Avenue, Lyndhurst: One arrest.
First Health Spa, 603 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst: Two arrests.
Heaven Spa, 375 Liberty Street, Little Ferry: Two arrests.

The second arrest at Heaven Spa was the only one involving someone not working there: Thomas Spiess, 39, of North Bergen, was charged with having marijuana. Records show he also was wanted on a warrant.

All were released pending Municipal Court hearings, the prosecutor said.

Those arrested in the March 15 Paramus bust were charged with facilitating prostitution as part of an “in-call” operation, Molinelli said.

“The term ‘in-call’ refers to a set-up whereby customers/johns respond to a location supplied and paid for by the illegal operation, where the customer engages in sexual activity with a prostitute in exchange for money,” the prosecutor said in announcing the arrests late this afternoon.

The initiative was launched “in response to various citizen complaints made to local police departments, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office tipline,” Molinelli said.

Coordinated by Molinelli’s office, it involved officers from county Sheriff Michael Saudino’s department and police from several towns: Paramus, Palisades Park, Harrington Park, Lyndhurst, Garfield, Little Ferry, Ramsey, and Edgewater, the prosecutor said.






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