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Terrebonne Sheriffs bust possible human trafficking ring run by massage parlors

Multiple massage therapists across multiple businesses have been arrested as a result of this investigation.
Credit: WWL
Police lights (Stock photo)

TERREBONNE PARISH, La. — Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's deputies have possibly uncovered a human trafficking ring that was run by multiple local massage parlors in the area, according to a press release.

Multiple therapists and employees have been arrested on charges that include human trafficking, prostitution, soliciting prostitutes, and numerous others.

The press release said that TPSO had received reports of so-called massage parlors conducting possible prostitution and human trafficking.

After a joint investigation, TPSO said they determined that such illegal activity was taking place within multiple local businesses that were disguised as massage therapy establishments.

On Sept. 22, several agencies joined TPSO in executing search warrants at four businesses — Moon Spa, My Massage, LA Spa Massage and Best Spa Massage.

The press release said that several unlicensed massage therapists were taken into custody. Police seized $20,000 in cash, an unspecified amount of cocaine and several vehicles.

TPSO said that a married couple was in charge of overseeing the management of the establishments and that their day-to-day operations were connected to human trafficking.

One of them, Yuhan Gao, 39, of Houma, was arrested on charges of massage parlor prohibited sexual conduct and human trafficking.

Her husband, David Kellow, 55, of Houma, was arrested on charges of human trafficking and pandering. 

Multiple employees were also arrested for various charges including prostitution by massage, cocaine possession and solicitation for prostitution.

"Our ability to bring offenders to justice is more effective when the community is involved," Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet said. "I’m very happy that we were able to bring an end to the operation of these businesses in Terrebonne Parish, and hopefully, this investigation leads to more arrests and the recovery of victims of Human Trafficking,"

"Human Trafficking and Prostitution is a very serious topic, which seriously impacts lives throughout our Parish, our state, and Country,” Soignet said.

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