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FBI's Raid Of Massage Parlor Leads To Larger Probe Into Prostitution, Possible Human Trafficking

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburgh Police and FBI agents raided a massage parlor in Squirrel Hill after receiving complaints of prostitution and human trafficking.

An investigation that spanned several months came to a head Thursday as Pittsburgh Police Vice Detectives and FBI agents raided the Golden Tree Spa on Murray Avenue.

The sign in the window says 'Give the Gift of Health,' but police sources said more than massages were being given.

Workers at nearby businesses told KDKA they suspected the same.

"I've always seen guys walking up there with their hoods up, them trying to conceal their identity when they get in there. And they can't just open the door. They have to knock or ring a bell and somebody comes and lets them in," said Sarah Campbell.

"It's funny because you can tell they are embarrassed about what they are doing. You'll watch them dart up the stairs and they are always shying away from the traffic," said Rachel Manso.

"If you can catch them when they come out it's the best because their head is like straight down and they don't even look. They like run to their car and try to get out of there," said Campbell.

Police came in the door unexpectedly around 1 p.m. Thursday, looking for evidence of prostitution and possibly human trafficking. Detectives were carrying out bags of evidence, a source told KDKA they contained cameras, condoms and large amounts of cash.

Two women were led out in handcuffs, accused of prostitution and conspiracy to commit prostitution. KDKA has blurred their faces in the video as a precaution.

FBI agents are still investigating the human trafficking aspect of this case, that may span far beyond Pittsburgh. A source said the women are in their 40s, originally from China, and may have been sent here from New York.

For this raid, police brought with them interpreters and victim's advocates. The case is still under investigation and more arrests could be forthcoming.

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