Java Juggs baristas, owner busted for prostitution after probe

Java Juggs baristas, owner busted for prostitution after probe »Play Video
EDMONDS, Wash. - The owner of a string of espresso stands has been arrested on suspicion of prostitution, and three of her employees are also facing charges, following a months-long investigation by Edmonds police.

The investigation was launched in October 2010 after police received a number of complaints from citizens steamed up about a handful of baristas at the Java Juggs espresso stand exposing themselves to customers.

"It was really, from what I understand, quite simple," says Sgt. Don Anderson of the Edmonds police. "It wasn't a great deal of effort in getting these girls to expose themselves."

Undercover officers working in plainclothes and posing as customers obtained video evidence of several violations during the course of the investigation, according to police.

Most of the violations involved employees exposing themselves to customers for large tips at the Java Juggs stand, located at Highway 99 and 212th Street Southwest in Edmonds, police said.

"Tip the barista a ten or a twenty, the barista would say, 'Thank you, what did I do to deserve this?' It took very little dialogue for the barista to expose herself," Sgt. Anderson says.

Some of the violations also involved physical contact with the barista in exchange for money, according to investigators.

"Between exposing themselves for a fee and and then actually allowing customers to touch them or fondle them for money, that's the difference," says Sgt. Don Anderson.

The investigation also revealed that the owner of the business, a 49-year-old Snohomish woman who owns three Java Juggs espresso stands in Edmonds and South Everett, was also involved in these activities, police said.

She was arrested June 30 for investigation of three counts of prostitution and one count of permitting prostitution.

Three employees were not physically arrested, but will be facing potential charges as well, including prostitution and unlawful exposure, police said.

Sgt. Anderson says the baristas worked all three stands, like a circuit.

He says police are still monitoring all three of the Java Juggs in Snohomish County to make sure there are not any additional violations.

The arrests mark the second time in two years that undercover officers have turned up evidence of unlawful conduct at espresso stands in Snohomish County.

In January 2010, undercover cops took 17 photos that allegedly captured the five baristas at the Grab 'N Go Espresso Stand performing sex acts.