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Crime & Courts

9 arrested at Arizona studio police say was a front for prostitution ring

At least nine people could be charged after authorities raided a Phoenix studio that investigators say used pornography as a front for prostitution.

The Arizona Republic reports ( ) that 52-year-old studio owner William James Hartwel and eight women were taken into custody Thursday following the raid of the business near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Authorities say the business was used to have clients' "pornographic fantasy recorded" and have photos taken. Court documents say studio operators would check customers for sexually transmitted diseases then place them in private rooms with women.

Police say the raid comes after a six-month investigation.

Investigators say Hartwell told an arresting officer that he was not surprised police showed up at his company's door.

It was unclear if he had an attorney.


Information from: The Arizona Republic,

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