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SWAT Team and Vice Detectives Raid Businesses | Crime

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SWAT Team and Vice Detectives Raid Businesses
Crime

LAS VEGAS -- As the sun was coming up Wednesday morning, Las Vegas Metro's SWAT Team targeted three businesses police believe are scamming customers out of money, using sex as a selling point.

Investigators say Club Exclusive II, Entyce and Sensations are all running the same scam -- employees are fooling customers into thinking they can pay for sex.

"Certainly, the illusion of what they're going to get when they get here is no mistake, otherwise we wouldn't have hundreds of men coming to these establishments and leaving disgruntled that they didn't get what they thought they were coming here for," said Metro Vice Lt. Karen Hughes.

SLIDESHOW: Inside the Police Raids

Club Exclusive II was Metro's first stop. As with all of the business, they are licensed in Clark County and are suppose to be a reflexology establishment, which is the practice of massaging hands, feet and earlobes. But Lt. Hughes says that was just part of what was going on inside. She says the female employees would lure customers into thinking more was in store if they paid up.

"They're getting upsold into other rooms in order to see those kinds of acts become fulfilled. Those things never happened," said Hughes.

Instead, after they pay, police say a security guard, sometimes armed, forces them out.

"The victims were defrauded, coerced, robbed, beaten," said Metro Sgt. Lenny Larusso.

As SWAT was pulling away from Club Exclusive II, the alleged operator showed up and was quickly taken into custody. The Secretary of State's website lists the owner as James Buford.

It was a similar story at both Entyce and Sensations. Police made approximately 20 arrests. The suspects could face several charges, including racketeering, coercion, robbery and fraud.

Metro not only picked up the alleged operators of these businesses, but also the female workers. They say they are also going to go after the cab drivers responsible for bringing potential victims to places like Sensations.

"We've had as many in an hour -- 10 to 15 cabs come to some of these places," said Sgt. Larusso.

"They are in cahoots with the cab drivers. The cab drivers are getting kickbacks to bring victims here, sometimes as high as $180 per client," said Lt. Hughes.

Metro says as many as 100 taxi drivers could be arrested and or lose their license. Those arrests are expected in the coming weeks. The Taxicab Authority has also been working closely with Metro for this investigation.

For now, police hope these businesses never get to open back up.

"These businesses are a sham. They are here to take money without offering any legitimate service and we're hoping that their licenses are revoked," said Hughes.

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