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MERRILLVILLE — Authorities executed a federal warrant Thursday morning at a massage parlor off U.S. 30, the U.S. attorney’s office confirmed.

Several marked Merrillville and Lake County police vehicles blocked the intersection of U.S. 30 and Taft Street just after 9 a.m., as a caravan of marked and unmarked law enforcement vehicles turned west onto U.S. 30 from Taft and surrounded Seoul Spa Massage in the 2400 block of U.S. 30.

Law enforcement officials from the FBI, IRS, Indiana State Police, Lake County Sheriff's Department and Merrillville Police Department could be seen at the scene.

Authorities stood at both the front and back doors of the business. A red open sign in the spa's front window remained lit during the raid.

Another woman wearing a jacket marked "victim services" was seen entering and exiting the front of the business. 

About an hour after the raid began, two women exited the back of the business and got into an unmarked pickup truck driven by an FBI agent. Agents then drove away with the women.

Merrillville police blocked the entrance to the strip mall but declined comment, saying the case is sealed.

Ryan Holmes, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said he could not confirm or deny the existence of a sealed case.

However, Holmes confirmed a federal warrant was executed Thursday morning at the business. He declined to comment on the nature of the warrant.

A message sent to Seoul Spa and Massage seeking comment was not immediately returned.

A second federal warrant was served Thursday morning at a home in the 7400 block of Taylor Street in Schererville, Holmes said.

Holmes said he couldn't confirm or deny whether the second warrant was related to the warrant executed at the Merrillville spa.


Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.