Undercover cop video shows barista stripping at coffee stand

Undercover cop video shows barista stripping at coffee stand »Play Video
Surveillance video filmed by an undercover Edmonds detective shows a customer placing money inside a barista's bra at Java Juggs in South Everett, April 21, 2011.
EVERETT, Wash. -- Undercover police surveillance video released Thursday shows baristas exposing themselves and putting on early morning strip shows to more than a dozen paying customers at a coffee stand near South Everett.

A months-long investigation was launched late last year after Edmonds police received several complaints about baristas exposing themselves to customers at Java Juggs espresso stands in Snohomish County.

Company owner Carmela Panico is accused of prostitution and one count of permitting prostitution for what detectives uncovered at one of the coffee stands in Edmonds.

But last week, prosecutors filed a new charge of lewd conduct against Panico and co-worker Krystal Wagner for what detectives found during an undercover investigation at one of the coffee stands in unincorporated Snohomish County near South Everett.

Court documents say an undercover detective ordered coffee at the stand the morning of April 17 and was asked by a barista, "Are you a naughty boy?" When the detective said yes, the barista had him drive around to the other side of the stand and wait while she served some other customers.

A few minutes later, the barista turned on a stereo and began a strip show on the stripper pole installed at the stand, exposing herself several times, the detective said. She later told the detective that she and the stand's owner used to dance at "Rick's" strip club.

Four days later, the detective returned and ordered a drink from another barista. She said she "couldn't give any flashes today" because one of the other baristas was caught dancing naked in front of an undercover cop and was fired. She did offer to shake her breasts for the detective, prosecutors wrote.

The next morning, the detective set up a nine-hour surveillance of the stand, starting around 4:20 a.m.

The detective watched over a dozen encounters where Panico and Wagner gave customers a show of some sort, from baristas baring their breasts, to slapping their buttocks, to even staging elaborate shows on a stripper pole that was installed inside the coffee stand, prosecutors said. Customers would then customarily place tips inside the baristas' bra or bikini, investigators said.

Wagner was eventually arrested on June 24. She told detectives she thought it was OK for customers to put money in her bikini or lingerie bra cups, and that sometimes customers would feel her breasts but she was "too nice" to decline but warned them against doing it again.

Panico turned herself in to detective on June 30. As she was taken in to custody, she told the detective, "just don't feel up my boobs," according to court documents.

The new charges against Panico were filed Aug. 18, and police released surveillance video from the investigation on Thursday. In all, six of Panico's employees have been charged with lewd conduct misdemeanors through the course of the entire investigation.

Video obtained by KOMO News of Edmonds police investigation: