By Jason A. Smith
Police raided a Henry County spa Thursday, arresting employees for what authorities described as prostitution offenses.
Henry County police said sexual favors were offered to undercover officers, by workers at the facility.
Four employees of the Well Spa, at 3111 Jodeco Road, were arrested. They include: Chiang Mai Maliwan, 38, of McDonough, who is charged with prostitution; Sommai Joy Truong, 42, of McDonough, who is charged with keeping a place of prostitution; Khemika Chanpleng, 38, of McDonough, and Phloenphit Tonchomphu, 33, of Chicago, Ill., who are charged with possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.
Interim Police Chief Keith Nichols said authorities have been investigating illegal activity at Well Spa, as well as other businesses like it, for "several years."
"It's obvious that a lot of these spas are a cover for prostitution," said Nichols. "You may have a legitimate spa that gives massages or facials, or whatever they do, but these illegitimate spas, we're going to target and make every attempt to shut them down, the way we did this one."
The police department's Narcotics Unit worked in the operation, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, investigators from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office, and Dottie Green, with the Henry County business license section, according to Police Capt. Jason Bolton.
The police department, said Nichols, has "made cases" in the past involving prostitution at Well Spa, which is located in unincorporated Henry County between McDonough and Stockbridge. However, he said, owners of the facility retained legal representation and "fought to stay open" in those cases.
Maliwan and Truong appeared Friday in Henry County Magistrate Court, and their bonds were set at $5,000 each. Preliminary hearings in their cases were reset for April 14. Bonds for Chanpleng and Tonchomphu were set at $800 each.
According to Bolton, the suspects will remain in jail regardless of the status of their bond payments. "Immigration detainers were placed on all four suspects for being in the country illegally," Bolton added.
Interim Chief Nichols said anyone with information about prostitution at other area spas, can call police anonymously to make a report.