After a ninth-month undercover investigation, the Edmonds Police Department has arrested the owner of an Edmonds espresso stand on three counts of prostitution and one count of permitting prostitution. Three employees were also arrested.
The arrest at Java Juggs Espresso, located on the corner of Highway 99 and 212th Street Southwest, involved officers posing as customers and collecting video as evidence, said Sgt. Don Anderson of the Edmonds Police Department.
Most of the violations involved employees exposing themselves to customers for large tips. Some of the violations involved physical contact with a barista in exchange for money.
The investigation began in October 2010 and ended last week with the arrest of the business owner and the three employees, on charges which include prostitution and unlawful exposure.
Among those arrested was 49-year-old Carmela Panico, a Snohomish resident who owns Java Juggs Espresso in Edmonds, as well as two others in Everett. The police determined that she joined her employees in illegal activities. She is currently out on bail.
The Edmonds Police Department is working with the Snohomish County Health Department and the City of Edmonds Code Enforcement Office to address any other business licensing or code enforcement issues that may exist with the business as it continues to operate.