TurnAround is often called to assist female victims in human-trafficking cases in the county.

Investigators had pursued the case for days leading up to the raid, according to charging documents.

On March 4, detectives with the Baltimore County vice unit kept watch on the house. They observed a man entering the back door, they said in charging documents, and watched as he left less than an hour later.

An officer in a marked patrol car stopped the man, who said he had been greeted by a woman who called herself "Sylvia." He said he told her he wanted an hourlong massage, which she said would cost $70.

The man said he was taken to a room on the second floor of the house, where he was given a back massage. The woman also performed oral sex on the man, police say, and he gave her a $60 tip.

A few days later, detectives found an online advertisement: "new young girls just arrive in town Best services — Guaranteed!"

"They are so hot, beautiful face, killer body and smooth skin," the ad continued. "Hurry up don't miss this opportunity Very clean and No rush at all. Serious calls, no text messages, no email."

Investigators secured a room at the nearby Comfort Inn, and a detective called about the girls in the advertisement. Police say a woman on the phone told him a visit to the hotel would cost $220.

About an hour later, police say, a woman knocked on the door of the hotel room. After the detective showed her the cash, they say, the woman made a phone call and then took off her clothes.

After the woman agreed to have sex with the detective, police say, more officers entered the room and placed her under arrest.

On the night of March 8, about a dozen marked and unmarked police cars descended on the paved lot in front of the Joppa Road house. Officers from the county, joined by Homeland Security agents, used a battering ram to break down the green steel door and then searched the business.

Residents along Joppa Road say they're hopeful that the latest set of charges will keep the business from reopening.

Zhang pleaded not guilty to prostitution and human trafficking in 2008. Those charges were eventually dropped, but she was given probation before judgment on a charge of operating a massage business without a license.

Police raided Jade Heart Health in 2003 and closed down another business Zhang owned in Glen Burnie over zoning and fire code violations. She was charged with prostitution and massage license violations, but the disposition of that case was unclear.

James Vallone, executive director of the State Board of Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Examiners, said Zhang has not had a license since 2004. She unsuccessfully appealed the state's decision to revoke the permit.

Cpl. Cathleen Batton, a Police Department spokeswoman, said prostitution investigations can be difficult and time-consuming.

"We have to be able to substantiate the criminal activity," which can take time and repeated trips, and often involves uncooperative victims, she said.

While police address the prostitution supply, said TurnAround's Snow, the wider community should be addressing demand.

"We have to ask the bigger question of why" people solicit sex in Baltimore County, she said. "We need to do something to address the fact there are plenty of men willing to purchase sex from these women."

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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