Turns out that raid of a downtown hostess club over the weekend was kind of a big deal.
The LAPD late Wednesday released some of the seedier allegations that resulted from the bust, including the seizure of drugs, the discovery of a 17-year-old girl reported missing by her parents and drinks being served at a venue that has no state alcohol license.
Whew. No, Osama Bid Laden was not discovered at the second-floor Club 907 at West Ninth and Hill streets but …
… six employee were allegedly found to have been using fake IDs, some with the legit drivers license numbers of others, lewd acts were said to have been witnessed, and prostitution and human trafficking accusations were at the heart of the raid.
In fact it all started four months ago when cops conducting a routine permit check obviously saw stuff they didn't like.
That led to a full-on investigation, during which the LAPD discovered that U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities were also looking into the 907 because employees were allegedly using fake documents to gain employment there.
The LAPD's own visits to the 250-capacity taxi-dancing club allegedly found overcrowding as well as the aforementioned accusations.
Last Friday LAPD investigators put their allegations on paper and asked a judge for search warrant, which was granted.
According to an LAPD summary of the warrant's allegations, vice officers developed “enough information to believe the business may be a front for prostitution, in violation of labor laws and possibly involved in human trafficking. “
Cops said they found two bags of cocaine, $100,000 in cash, condoms and yeah, alcohol.
On Friday 81 women and 7 men — all employees — were arrested on suspicion of violations that included prostitution, possessing fake IDs, gambling, and violating the business' city business permit.
Officers also seized two bags of cocaine powder, over $100,000 in cash, condoms, and liquor.
Some of the suspects with fake IDs were allowed to be questioned by ICE authorities, according to an LAPD statement.
As we told you previously, old school taxi-dancing/hostess establishments like this one are a fixture in downtown. The clients are mostly Latino and can pay by the song for a dance with a woman or sit down with her for a set amount of time.
A few of the spots cater to Asian immigrants and eschew dancing in favor of sitting.
It'll be interesting to see if the bust is part of a movement to rid downtown of the taxi-dancing/hostess spots in favor of gentrification.