Authorities raid two day spas in Bennington Tuesday. They're investigating whether the spas are just fronts for illegal operations.
Both the Bennington Police and the FBI worked together to uncover what may be a human trafficking and prostitution ring right in Bennington's downtown.
The Green Spa on Main Street in Downtown Bennington and the Cozy Spa on North Street may soon be shut down.
"Those two businesses are under investigation for reports of solicitation and investigations along those lines," said Bennington County State's Attorney Erica Marthage.
Police say they were tipped to the possible crimes about a year and a half ago. But six months ago, those rumors began to hold water, and the Bennington police and the FBI have been watching the locations ever since. Tuesday, they executed search warrants at both massage shops.
"We seized some electronic storage devices, some computers, cellphones, some cash, many business records," explained Det. Sgt. David Rowland of the Bennington Police Department.
Police say the women working at the spa are from China and could be victims of human trafficking. Though no arrests were made, they say they did find evidence of crimes committed at both locations, but declined to elaborate. They're also investigating reports of prostitution.
"I think you will be shocked of some of the things we learned about what's been transpiring here in Bennington," said Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette, though he declined to explain what information was found.
Doucette said the businesses weren't shut down, but will find it hard to operate given the amount of evidence police sized Tuesday afternoon. He expects arrests will happen once officials process all the evidence.
"They know that we're watching and are not going to tolerate this behavior. If there are victims, they need to come forward," Doucette said.
Police are investigating whether the Green Spa is part of a larger crime ring.
The state's attorney also says that the spas being investigated are not connected to another prostitution case that recently made headlines in Bennington.
We did call both spas earlier Tuesday, but our calls were not answered.
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>