This year proved to be a busy one for police departments in North Texas, cracking down on brothels and prostitution operations.
In Collin County alone, there were at least 39 arrests linked to brothels and soliciting between January and August and an extra 42 men were arrested in Frisco in connection with a sex trafficking ring shut down in January 2023. Now Plano police are conducting a crackdown operation on massage parlors working as fronts for prostitution activities.
Update 12/6/2023 8:30 a.m.: After the city of Plano filed a petition on Nov. 27, 2023, to investigate whether Tennyson Wellness Center at 6541 Preston Road violated the Texas Occupational Code, the massage parlor agreed to shut down. According to NBCDFW, two employees at the center were arrested with prostitution charges although no consequences fell on the owner of the establishment, which has been operating in Plano for 11 years. NBC News reported the owner announced their intentions to permanently close in a communication to Chief Drain.
According to Plano Police Chief Ed Drain (via CBS News), the department estimates that over 50% of all massage parlors in the city are engaged in illegal activities. “We don’t think we are going to use just enforcement to stop this problem, so we are going on the civil route in addition to continuing our enforcement efforts,” said Chief Drain.
While Plano police said sex soliciting is increasing at alarming rates, this is not the first time North Texas has been affected by brothels disguised as massage parlors. In Collin County, it used to be an open secret.
Former Frisco Mayor Bob Warren wrote on Frisco Style, that as late as the 1980s, Frisco had a questionable reputation for outsiders — along Preston Road massage parlors were known to be “sexually-oriented businesses” or S.O.B.s.
“There were probably five or so that I remember,” former Frisco Mayor Maher Maso told Local Profile. “There was the Dollhouse, the Body Shop, April’s, the Tub Club and Michelle’s Ranch.”
Now, Plano police are taking a different approach to dealing with illegal activity. On Nov. 27, 2023, the city of Plano filed a civil action against one of the local businesses police said was a problem. According to CBS News, by targeting massage parlors violating the Texas Occupational Code, police hope to make business owners accountable for participating in these operations.