Complaint leads to prostitution bust at Phoenix club; 2 arrested


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Updated Friday, May 16 at 4:21 PM

Map: Club Lace

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PHOENIX -- Phoenix police executed three search warrants Wednesday morning while investigating a gentlemen's club suspected of operating as a house of prostitution.

Police served a warrant at Club Lace near 27th Avenue and Indian School Road at about 8 a.m. They also served a warrant at a home in northwest Phoenix and another at a condo in north-central Phoenix.

"We believe that this business, that's not even certified as a strip club or gentlemen's club, was operating here and in essence was more operating as a house of prostitution," Sgt. Steve Martos said.

Martos said the business wasn't designed like a typical gentlemen's club. There were eight to 10 private rooms inside.

According to Martos, the club had been operating at this location for several years and investigators believe it was making tens of thousands of dollars a month.

Two people were taken into custody. Sergio Plata, 24, was booked for being an employee at a house of prostitution. Stephen Lacy, 40, was arrested at a condo near Seventh Street and Beardsley Road. He faces charges of placing a person in a house of prostitution, receiving earning of prostitution, maintaining a house of prostitution and pandering.

Additional arrests related to this investigation are possible.

"That's terrifying," said Jenessa Baca, who lives near one of the homes that was searched. "I have daughters ... and I mean, they're out front, literally right out front of their house right there on the basketball court."

Police started investigating the club after receiving a complaint from someone who had gone there believing that it was a gentlemen's club and discovered it was a house of prostitution, according to Martos.