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'Bikini Barista' Stands Raided for Operating as Brothels

Seven "bikini barista" stands in Snohomish County, Washington were raided earlier this week amid allegations of prostitution and lewd conduct among its baristas. According to the Herald of Everett, Washington (about a half-hour north of Seattle), Carmela Panico, the owner of the Java Juggs espresso huts, was arrested and booked under investigation of "promoting prostitution and permitting prostitution." Also arrested: a 30-year veteran of the county sheriff's office, who is accused of exchanging information about possible police raids for sexual favors. Eight employees were detained — but not arrested — under suspicion of lewd conduct and prostitution.

FBI surveillance cameras set up outside the stands "reportedly filmed women workers exchanging sex for money from customers," while undercover detectives witnessed six different baristas "routinely exposing their breasts and other private parts" to customers. In 2011, Panico pled guilty to misdemeanor lewd conduct while serving coffee out of one of her stands. Local news station KOMO has more details:

Video: Cop Accused of Tipping Bikini Baristas to Police Investigations

· Espresso Stands Raided; Sheriff's Sergeant Arrested [HeraldNet via TheAwl]
· Cop Accused of Tipping Bikini Baristas to Police Investigations [KOMO]
· All Crime Coverage on Eater [-E-]