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What you need to know for 01/22/2017

Pair accused of prostitution near Saratoga Springs school

Pair accused of prostitution near Saratoga Springs school

State police narcotics investigators arrested two women after uncovering an alleged prostitution ope
Pair accused of prostitution near Saratoga Springs school
Run Ping Huang, left, and Qihong Tao were arrested on prostitution charges after a state police raid on a building in Greenfield.

State police narcotics investigators arrested two women after uncovering an alleged prostitution operation on the edge of Saratoga Springs, a half-mile from Maple Avenue Middle School.

Run Ping Huang, 50, of Flushing, and Qihong Tao, 42, of Greenfield, were each charged Tuesday with prostitution and unauthorized practice of a profession. Both were arraigned in Wilton Town Court and sent to the Saratoga County jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

The state police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team uncovered the operation after executing a search warrant at a business called Health Spa at 446 Maple Ave. State police offered no further details on the case.

The Greenfield bust comes about six months after authorities charged another pair of women with prostitution at a similar businesses in Saratoga Springs. Guirong Peng, 50, and Fengxiang Bai, 48 — both of Flushing — were accused of performing massages on people without state licenses as part of a prostitution racket running out of the Happy Angel Spa on Church Street. That raid came during the same month that two similar businesses were accused of running similar operations in Niskayuna and Scotia. A spa in Halfmoon was raided in October.

CNET often provides assistance to local law enforcement for undercover work needed to make arrests in prostitution operations. Authorities have previously indicated some of the prostitution operations uncovered could be linked to sex trafficking, where immigrant women are forced into the commercial sex trade.

It was unclear Thursday whether the Greenfield operation is part of a larger ring being investigated by police or how they were tipped off to the business. The listed address of the building isn’t associated with any massage parlors or spas listed in the area. Often, though, bogus massage parlors serving as fronts for prostitution operations advertise on online adult websites, where their sexual nature is implied. Authorities say it’s not hard to figure out what they’re actually offering.

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