Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:25 pm
From the HARRIS COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
County Attorney Vince Ryan filed lawsuits today against four establishments located in one shopping center in northwest Harris County alleging that they are public nuisances and fronts for organized criminal activity.
The lawsuits claim that Crystal Relaxation, Empire Spa, and Royal Spa located at 921 West FM 1960 are unlicensed massage establishments that engage in prostitution and human trafficking.
In a law suit filed against Nite Moves, also at 921 West FM 1960, the County Attorney claims that the after-hours club allows gang activity, drug sales, and other illegal acts to occur on the premises.
The County Attorney said there have been hundreds of calls for service made to law enforcement since 2009 and 57 police investigations at the shopping center. The law suits request that the courts order the closure of the businesses for at least one year and permanently enjoin illegal activity.
The Office of the Harris County Attorney has been working with Constable Ron Hickman’s Regulatory Enforcement Unit and Sheriff Adrian Garcia’s Vice Division to close businesses that are public nuisances. The lawsuits typically are filed against businesses that engage in habitual criminal activity, such as prostitution, alcohol and beverage violations, and the unlicensed operation of massage establishments.
“Sometimes we negotiate the closure of the business by contacting the owner of the property; occasionally a law suit is necessary to accomplish our goal,” Ryan said. “Law enforcement officers tell us that just arresting the criminals doesn’t solve the problem. When a place allows criminal acts to continue, criminals keep coming back. You must take away the habitat to fix the problem.”
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