Newspaper Ads Help Lead to Prostitution Bust

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(AP) State police have raided 13 businesses and arrested 42 people on prostitution-related charges.

Dubbed ?Operation Risky Business,? for the movie in which Tom Cruise ran a prostitution business out of his home, the arrests over the past three months targeted businesses around the state advertising themselves as massage parlors and escort services.

One massage parlor operated in an industrial park in Cedar Grove; an escort service was operated out of a home in Carteret.

?They readily advertise in newspapers, magazines, telephone books and on the Internet,? said Lt. Jeff Simpkins, head of the state police narcotics and organized crime bureau. ?I was amazed at how blatant it was. They would actually negotiate right there while the girl was standing there.?

The arrests included 11 business owners or managers charged with promoting prostitution, 29 women charged with prostitution, and two people arrested on drug charges.

Police said some of the prostitutes might have been smuggled into the United States from Russia or Asia and forced to work as sex slaves.

Authorities are checking business records and surveillance videotapes from the massage parlors and escort services in an effort to identify clients who patronized the businesses for sex.

Some clients who might have used their credit cards to pay for sex and then declared the expenses to be business lunches could face tax fraud charges, state police Capt. James Fallon said.

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