March 26, 2008 IMLAY CITY — The same online ads that drew in men for 'sensual massages' at an Imlay City hotel last week also drew the attention of local police.
Using surveillance and an undercover officer, police were able to confirm their suspicions—the ads were actually a front for prostitution.
Two women, a 29 year-old Clinton Twp. resident and an 18 year-old from Grand Rapids, were arrested following a March 18 sting conducted by the Thumb Narcotics Unit, Imlay City Police and the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department.
Lapeer County Prosecutor Byron Konschuh said that as of Monday, the two suspects had not yet been arraigned.
According to the Thumb Narcotics Unit press release, detectives with their agency were acting on a tip when they set up surveillance at the hotel and observed several males leaving the rooms known to be occupied by the suspects.
"An undercover detective made contact with one of the suspects and arrived at the hotel at the agreed time," the release states.
"A price and act were discussed and agreed upon at which time Thumb Narcotics detectives and Imlay City Police officers arrested the two suspects."
The womens' clients replied to their online ads over the Internet or by phone to set up an appointment, police believe.
None of the men seen leaving the room were apprehended, but Lt. Mark Opra said some might be interviewed.
The narcotics unit typically doesn't handle prostitution investigations but took the lead on the case upon receiving the tip.
"It's not a staple of what we do," Lt. Opra said.
"There were no narcotics involved in this case but (drugs and prostitution) usually go hand in hand."