Update - 5 p.m.: Peter Carr, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office, emailed a statement on behalf of U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride:
“We appreciate Rep. Wolf’s interest in fighting trafficking in Northern Virginia. Anti-trafficking efforts are a priority for the Department and for my office, and that is why we reinvigorated the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force in June 2010. Prosecutions have risen since then, and we have a number of robust investigations currently underway. We feel like we’re off to a good start.”
Update - 1 p.m.: We have added the PDFs of the letters Rep. Wolf sent to U.S. Attorney Neil MacBridge and FBI Director Robert Meuller.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va., 10th district) has asked the Polaris Project, a group that works against human trafficking, to check into Asian massage parlors in Northern Virginia, The Washington Post’s Tom Jackman reported.
Wolf has also contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, apparently dissatisfied with the progress of the office’s task force on the subject, and the FBI.
The women involved in illegal acts at massage parlors are often brought to the United States from Southeast Asia and made to work off their debts, which can take years.
“It’s a modern day form of slavery,” Wolf told The Washington Post.
Some of the massage parlors in question are located in and around Annandale, though there are many in the area operating legally and legitimately.
Between November 2010 and September 2011, Mason District Police seized more than $8,000 in cash from illegal massage parlors. Back in 2009, Fairfax County police arrested several people in the Mason Police District (which includes Annandale) for operating massage parlors without permits and prostitution.
Patch has requested a copy of the letter from Rep. Wolf to the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office.
Rep. Wolf has done extensive work on human rights and is co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.