Cristina Aceves, 30, of Phoenix, was taken into custody after she arrived at Club Lace near 28th and Weldon avenues. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Stephen Lacy, 40, was booked into jail on charges of placing a person in a house of prostitution, receiving earnings of prostitution, maintaining a house of prostitution and pandering. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Sergio Plata, 24, was booked into jail on a charge of being an employee at a house of prostitution. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
A Phoenix police spokesman said officers raided Club Lace at 28th and Weldon avenues for "maintaining a house of prostitution." (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Phoenix police arrested a woman Thursday identified as the "main girl" at a strip club used as a front for a house of prostitution.
Cristina Aceves, 30, of Phoenix, was taken into custody after she arrived at Club Lace near 28th and Weldon avenues.
Aceves was identified in a photo lineup by clients of Club Lace as "Selena," a prostitute who was the "main girl" working at the club, according to a police officer's statement.
Aceves was allowed at the club alone and along with the managers was allowed to run customers' credit cards, according to the statement.
Investigators said they reviewed bank records showing deposits made into accounts for Stephen Lacy. They said they also found several logs showing money was paid to "Selena," according to the statement.
On several occasions since April of 2012, Aceves told police she was a dancer at the club, and an ex-employee told investigators Aceves recruited her to work at the club, according to the statement.
Offices tried to stop Aceves in her vehicle Thursday but she continued to drive until she reached Club Lace. She was placed under arrest and had to be pulled from the car, according to the statement.
She was booked into jail on a charge of illegal control of an enterprise, a felony; felony money laundering; and, misdemeanor counts of being an employee at a house of prostitution, prostitution, enticement of a person for prostitution and resisting arrest.
Phoenix police said Club Lace was bringing in an estimated $40,000 a week through prostitution.
Officers and SWAT members raided and served warrants at Club Lace and two residences early on May 14, arresting three people in an investigation that began more than a year ago, said Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos.
Officers had to break through a barred entrance to the club before arresting one of the employees, Martos said.
He was identified as 24-year-old Sergio Plata. He was booked into jail on a charge of being an employee at a house of prostitution, police said.
The club was not set up for dancing. It has two hallways with about 10 rooms in each hallway. Martos said clients would pick out the girl or girls of their choice and adjourn to one of the rooms.
Martos said police had no estimate of how many women worked at the club.
The two other arrests were made at a residence in the area of 40th Street and Deer Valley Road, and in the area of Beardsley Road and Seventh Street.
One of those suspects was identified Lacy.
Lacy, 40, was booked into jail on charges of placing a person in a house of prostitution, receiving earnings of prostitution, maintaining a house of prostitution and pandering.
His bond was set at $10,000.
Martos said a customer called police after he went to Club Lace about a year ago thinking it was a strip club, but found that it was operating as a brothel.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
UPDATE3rd arrest made in Club Lace prostitution investigationMore>>
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