Three employees of Deidra's Health Salon on the Post Road have been charged with prostitution, and police said the arrest of the business' co-owners is expected, as well.
Police say their "proactive" investigation into Deidra's, which has been doing business on the second floor of the building at 699 Post Road for decades, began in 2011. The investigation included surveillance and undercover officers posing as customers seeking massages.
Police said since it is "not uncommon" for such salon businesses to offer sex as well, the investigation into Deidra's was initiated "to ensure its compliance with the law."
The massage parlor, located above a Subway outlet and several other outlets, now appears to be shuttered.
The business opened its doors in the late 1970s, owned at the time by former Fairfield resident Dolores Gordon. According to records filed with the Town Clerk's office, a Joann Carroll, with an address of 408 Kings Highway East, filed a trade name certificate for the massage parlor in September of 2006. A current phone listing to contact Carroll for comment could not be found.
According to police, one of the co-owners -- who they had not identified as of Wednesday -- had business links to the former Paradise Spa in Fairfield and Tokyo Health Spa in Bridgeport. Those two businesses had been closed previously for various violations.
The police surveillance of Deidra's identified clients, employees and business owners. During the investigation, police detectives said they received numerous anonymous tips reporting prostitution was taking place at the salon.
"Undercover officers posing as customers seeking massages were sent into Deidra's on numerous occasions," police Lt. Michael Gagner said. "Each undercover visit confirmed that illegal sexual activity was taking place at the salon."
A search-and-seizure warrant was executed on Feb. 7 at the salon, and at the home of one of the co-owners on Jetland Place in Bridgeport. Jetland Place is around the corner from the Tokyo Health Spa.
Police seized Deidra's business records, $16,000 in cash and equipment used in connection for the business in the two raids.
Police said they expect to serve warrants on the Deidra's co-owners for promoting prostitution shortly.
Cecere's lawyer, Frank Riccio Jr., said Wednesday his client doesn't currently have any ownership interest in the business. "As far as the arrest, she denies the charge and we'll allow the court process to prove that point," he said.
State records in the Commercial Recording Division list Cecere as vice president of the business when it was owned by Gordon.
The phone number for Deidra's is not in service and its web page is no longer available. A listing on the Yelp website for the salon states, "We are a well established business that has been around for going on 37 years in the same location," and "We offer relaxing body rubs. There are also showers and a sauna."
Deidra's accepted credit-card charges, but there were no actual reviews of the business on the Yelp page.