PD: Phoenix gentleman's club busted for prostitution - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

2 arrested after alleged prostitution bust at Phoenix strip club

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Sergio Plata; Stephen Lacy Sergio Plata; Stephen Lacy
PHOENIX - Phoenix police raided a gentlemen's club in west Phoenix and say the owner is accused of using the business as a front for prostitution. 

In fact, they were initially tipped off by someone who thought he was going to a legitimate strip club.

It looks like a typical gentlemen's club from the outside, but police say it was far from it.

Investigators are calling Club Lace -- located in an industrial area near 27th Avenue and Indian School Road a house of prostitution.

"Only usually about two or three cars there during the day.  I was never around here at night, so I have no idea what was going on then," said Brian Lounsbury, who works in the area.

On its web site, Club Lace advertises itself as an all-night party, a non-stop show, but investigators say there wasn't much of a show here.

"I will tell you that the entrance there is a small waiting room as you enter this business.  It then divides up into two different hallways.  There may be six to 12 different rooms, private room.. each with their own door," said Sgt. Steve Martos.

According to a police report, ex-employees claimed they were paid 60 percent and that the club took 40 percent of any sex acts that were performed at the club.

Investigators believe the business was making tens of thousands of dollars a month.

Officers and SWAT members served search warrants at the club, a home in Glendale near Deer Valley Road and 59th Avenue and at an apartment complex near 7th Street and Union Hills, where officers pulled out a few flat screen televisions. 

"I was still asleep and all of a sudden I hear bang!" said James Evans.  "I woke up and because of the loud bang, come out here and there was about 35 to 40 cops out here.  It was crazy.  It was insane."

At the club, police arrested 24-year-old Sergio Plata. He was booked for being an employee of a house of prostitution.

40-year-old Stephen Lacy was arrested at the apartment complex. Police say he is the club's owner. He was booked for illegal control of enterprise, putting a person in a house of prostitution, receiving the earnings of a prostitute, maintaining a house of prostitution and pandering.

Martos says more arrests are possible.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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