LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — The Lynn Haven police department arrested two women in charge of operating a prostitution business a block away from a school.
Police arrested 55-year-old Zoe Weilen and 61-year-old Mingling Deng on Thursday and seized $43,000 in cash at a rented duplex on Mowat School Road.
Chief Ricky Ramie said his team started investigating after they got a tip about a potential prostitution operation presented as Healing Massage and Wellness.
“We were able to do surveillance,” Ramie said. “Ultimately we were able to secure an appointment with an undercover investigator and the findings that were reported to us were very accurate.”
Ramie said when officers realized this was happening a block away from Mowat Middle School, they sped up the investigation.
“When you get information like that, we do everything in our power to protect our children,” Ramie said. “We don’t need this kind of nonsense in our community number one, or even close to a school.”
Mowat School Road is lined with homes with families who have young children and residents like Nikki Calton are concerned something like this happened so close to them.
“This is, this is really shocking,” Calton said. “I mean a prostitution ring…the first thing I’m thinking is sex trafficking. I mean, I don’t know, it just worries me with having a daughter that close to that house.”
Calton said this incident has changed her mindset about her children’s safety.
“I was paranoid before, always asking her ‘Where are you going?’ ‘Tell me where you’re going,’ and all that so I’m probably gonna be a little bit more paranoid.
Although police are not calling this a prostitution “ring,” police are communicating with federal authorities to help determine whether or not the women were trafficked or were voluntarily working in the massage parlor.