HONOLULU (KHON2) — A St. Louis Heights residence suspected of operating as a brothel was investigated on Wednesday, October 2.
Investigators with the Dept. of the Prosecuting Attorney executed a search warrant of the property.
The investigation into the alleged prostitution on 1498 Kalaepohaku Street was triggered after residents in the area complained. Some residents who just found out, still can’t believe it.
“It was shocking. This is a nice, quiet, upscale neighborhood, you know,” said nearby resident Thomas Scarlett.
However, he said he was aware that something strange was going on.
“I didn’t know what was going on over there. I saw traffic. I saw people going in and out the front door, but I had no idea until… when I saw the police over there. I didn’t think prostitution,” said Scarlett.
The illegal activity at the home has stopped, according to authorities.
Evidence indicates this suspected brothel relocated to this residential neighborhood after the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, with assistance from the Honolulu Police Department and special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), shut down a massage parlor in Kakaako.
No arrests were made in connection with the activity on St. Louis Heights, but the investigation is ongoing.
“Neighbors were alarmed,” said Acting Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto. “Strange men were showing up at the property at all hours of the day and night. As news of the business spread, anger in the community intensified. People wanted us to respond, and we have.”
The Prosecutor’s Office is issuing nuisance abatement warning letters to massage parlors and relaxation spas believed to be operating as a cover for prostitution.
At least seven of those businesses operating in urban Honolulu have closed in 2019.
“We are watching closely and will guard against these businesses moving from commercial properties to residential neighborhoods,” Nadamoto said.
He continues, “If these brothels do start to go out into the community, and by that I mean start to go out into the neighborhoods, then we would like the community to send us letters or to call us so we can, you know, help to shut them down.”
To contact the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, you can visit this website.