A former police officer has been charged with operating a prostitution ring below the guise of illicit therapeutic massage parlors, in response to a launch from the USA Division of Justice (DOJ) this month.
Retired San Diego detective and former lawyer Peter Griffin, 78, allegedly ran 5 therapeutic massage companies that bought industrial intercourse in California and Arizona. Griffin beforehand labored within the Vice Operations Unit of the San Diego Police Division, which is “tasked with dismantling the very companies he now stands charged with working and selling,” mentioned the DOJ.
Griffin was arrested close to his San Diego dwelling on August 11. Along with three co-defendants, he has been charged with conspiracy, interstate and overseas journey or transportation in help of racketeering (ITAR), cash laundering, making a false assertion to a mortgage lender, and wire fraud, in response to an indictment partially unsealed on August 12.
The indictment alleged that Griffin and three others owned and operated the illicit therapeutic massage parlors at numerous occasions between 2013 and August 2022. They’re accused of utilizing cell telephones, the web and banking channels to register their companies, promote intercourse on-line, make use of girls, handle the companies’ funds and revenue from the unlawful providers.
In response to a profile on Lawyer.com, Griffin retired from the San Diego Police Division in 2002 after 27 years on the drive, investigating narcotics, murder and theft, alongside together with his work within the vice unit. The profile additionally mentioned that Griffin established a non-public investigation agency licensed by the State of California.
The U.S. is dwelling to an estimated 9,000 illicit therapeutic massage companies that collectively earn practically $2.5 billion a yr, in response to the Polaris Venture, an anti-trafficking group. Though some girls in these companies select to promote intercourse together with or below the guise of therapeutic massage providers, the Polaris Venture reported that many are victims of human trafficking.
Practically all of the victims of therapeutic massage parlor trafficking within the U.S. lately arrived from China or South Korea, communicate little to no English and are moms of their mid-30s to late 50s, in response to the nonprofit. Most additionally carry money owed or different excessive monetary burdens.
The previous yr has seen a number of regulation enforcement officers charged with involvement in prostitution and intercourse trafficking.
In April, a public security officer at Western Michigan College (WMU) was arrested in a human trafficking sting operation in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
In the meantime, two former law enforcement officials in Fairfax County, Virginia, had been sued in federal courtroom final December for allegedly defending a intercourse trafficking ring in trade totally free intercourse from the victims.
And in October 2021, two former New York Metropolis Police Division (NYPD) officers had been caught in a sting operation after they allegedly transported prostitutes to fulfill shoppers in trade for money payoffs.
Newsweek reached out to the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace within the Southern District of California for remark.