BOSQUE FARMS — An Albuquerque woman was arrested and charged with prostitution after anonymous tips led local police officers to serve a warrant at a Bosque Farms massage parlor.
Bosque Farms Police Chief Paul Linson said the department received tips about possible prostitution and human trafficking activities at the Sunflower Massage Parlor, 1160 Bosque Farms Blvd.
After observing the business, monitoring the traffic in and out of the establishment and sending in undercover officers, Bosque Farms Police Department officers, with the assistance of the Albuquerque Police Department’s Vice Unit, executed a search warrant at the business at about 8 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 9.
“We served the warrant early because that area has a lot of business and foot traffic,” Linson said. “We didn’t want to make it dangerous for anyone.”
Despite rumors of human trafficking at the parlor, the chief said they didn’t locate anyone being held against their will.
“We were able to identify an individual who was in the business of prostitution,” he said.
Hong Juan Zhang, 50, of Albuquerque, was arrested and charged with prostitution, a petty misdemeanor. She was booked into the Valencia County Detention Center that day and released on her own recognizance on Friday, Jan. 10.
Linson said when law enforcement investigates allegations of human trafficking, officers are always prepared to identify victims, and provide help and resources to those who want it.
“Some people do want out, some do not,” the chief said.
Linson said from his experience working in Albuquerque and then in Bosque Farms for the last five years, both communities have the same types of crimes.
“I don’t think we have the same volume. Crime and criminal activity is done best when hidden in plain sight,” he said. “They like to mix in next to the good neighbors and get away with what they came for. It’s not the frequency or volume, but it’s the same crimes.”
The investigation is active and ongoing, the chief said, and there are other locations in Valencia County law enforcement is focusing on.
“The really sad part is the human aspect. Someone is getting victimized all day long, continually,” Linson said. “A lot of these women are forced, have no choice. They are coming from cultures or other situations where they might not know there are other options.”
According to the criminal complaint filed in magistrate court, during a joint undercover operation conducted by the Bosque Farms and Albuquerque police departments between Jan. 4 and 6, an undercover detective visited the Sunflower Massage Parlor.
The detective asked for a 30-minute massage and the woman who was working there charged him $40. After she gave him a deep tissue massage, the undercover detective asked her how much she charged for sex.
“She replied ‘you choose,’” the complaint reads, to which the detective offered $100. The woman didn’t agree and the detective offered $150, which she replied, “OK, $150 for sex.”
The undercover officer said he didn’t have the money with him and would return later. The detective then left the massage parlor.
At about 12:23 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 7, BFPD Lt. Patrick Ficke went to the massage parlor posing as a village code enforcement officer.
He was greeted by a woman, later identified as Zhang. The complaint indicates she didn’t speak English well enough to communicate with Ficke, so she called for a man who was in the back room of the business.
Ficke wrote the man identified himself as Chin Soung Tsai, the owner of the massage parlor, which had been in business for four months.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.