Not-so-Local Treasures on the Westheimer Strip

NOT-SO-LOCAL TREASURES ON THE WESTHEIMER STRIP Included in the lawsuit filed yesterday by Houston and Harris County attorneys against the owners of Treasures, which labels the Westheimer strip club a public nuisance and attempts to shut it down: allegations that the venue is a site of “human trafficking” — of dancers from Vegas. From Cindy George’s report: “The trafficking allegations stem from police probes revealing that some of the dancers are transported from Nevada to Texas, then from club to club within Houston, and reside in Galleria- area apartments and condos ‘where they are maintained by the pimps,’ [city attorney David] Feldman said at a news conference. . . . ‘They masquerade as legitimate businesses, but these high-end strip clubs like Treasures really are hubs of human trafficking,’ he said, later noting that the establishment averages $20 million in annual alcohol sales. ‘Treasures happens to be the most prominent of these clubs. It’s the largest. It is clearly the most visible and most notable and prominent. . . . We are hopeful that with this action, we serve notice not only on Treasures, but the other clubs out there that Houston-Harris County is not going to put up with this type of criminal activity.'” [Houston Chronicle]

26 Comment

  • I’m shocked …. SHOCKED that this type of behavior could occur in such a fine, upstanding venue.

  • So is there a criminal case against the owners?

    The public nuisance charge suggests they don’t have one and if they don’t they’re basically just harassing a business and hoping for juror (or judicial) prejudice.

  • HPD is such a joke. If laws are being broken, then go in an enforce them. If not, then leave them alone. The fact that they can’t seem to make any criminal charges stick is interesting. If laws are being broken, then why does the City need to go after them in civil court?

  • Policeman acquitted… city goes after strip clubs… Sherman, set the wayback machine for 1977.

  • Folks, if these ladies are willing participants, then it is not human trafficing. If the establishment is not breaking any laws (HPD has no grounds to go in and shut them down), then we need to sit back and let those folks have themselves a good time.

  • Now that the neighborhood behind Treasures is all upscale and gentrified, the Ashby disease is spreading and that neighborhood has been infected. According to the televised news reports, the adjacent transplanted yuppies don’t think Treasures should be able to continue conducting business, at least at that location.

    And yes, HPD is a joke. They so special… they privileged to kick your punk-ass if they think it’s necessary. You deserved it, anyway.

  • I luvs me some Treasures. Good spot for lunch on Fridays…dessert can get a little expensive, though.

  • Ellen Cohen probably called and complained because they’re not paying the “titty bar tax.”

  • the mayor volunteered to go undercover for a few stings but somehow that didn’t work.

  • #9-I am sorry that the mayor is not “hot” enough for you. I am so sick of the body and looks shaming of female politicians. That said, there has got to be a better way for those girls to put themselves through medical school.

  • I’m glad the City is finally doing something against prostitution. FINALLY!

  • @mel congratulations, you totally missed the joke and went off topic to boot!

  • I think the owners are Iranian and hence the “sanctions”. All the girls will just move over to Men’s Club ($1.50 drinks mon-fri 5 til 9)

  • Hey Mel,

    Maybe they can get jobs at the Chronicle. Just a thought.

  • Sure, the City continues a war against taxpaying businesses. The comments here are great.

  • They’ve had IRS problems more than once.

  • There are plenty of businesses i consider a nuisance; the entire Galleria is a nuisance to me trying to use the West Loop!

    Are we going to charge them with something?

  • HPD will walk past 3 dead hookers and a meth lab to mess with these businesses. If they really wanted to tackle prostitution, they would hit all of the rub n tug massage parlors and those cantinas on the East side. That’s where the real human trafficking is.

  • If there is really trafficking, then that’s a serious thing. But if everyone is consenting, then stop hatin’ Feldman.

  • #12, Ok I’ll bite (and call your bluff). Explain your hilarious joke (but be sure to stay on topic while explaining why the mayor’s attempts at going undercover as a stripper or stripper patron didn’t work or why she would even be interested in so doing). Perhaps I am too sensitive.

  • I’m confused – isn’t trafficking a human into slavery a crime, and if they have evidence of this – why aren’t they pressing criminal charges? If there is evidence of the clubs being involved in prostitution, why aren’t they pressing criminal charges?

    I’d presume that they don’t have enough evidence to convict, and are trying to win in a suit instead… Wouldn’t this have an adverse effect in that the actual wrong-doers are now fully aware of being watched, and will cover up and or destroy any evidence that might have been useful in a criminal investigation?

  • i want to know who is behind this suit because it sounds like a compltejoke. there is very real and serious human trafficking going on in this city on a daily basis. diverting resources from tracking down more negligent and serious traffickers should remain the priority.

    the fact that they threw in the statement about “other clubs” at the end makes this seem like an obvious witch hunt.

  • “The trafficking allegations stem from (the fact that) some of the (workers) are (coming) from Nevada to Texas, then (bounce) from (job) to (job) within Houston,, and reside in Galleria- area apartments and condos ‘where they are maintained by their (employers)”

    Sounds like they are going after all of the local employers next. Too bad Houston’s economy is so much better than Nevada’s. The police are going to be busy busting all these trafickers with their names on office towers in downtown.

    The key here is the term “allegations”, if people are being forced to work against their will then the law is being broken and the Police and Prosecutors need to do their jobs. But, the way they describe it, it sounds exactly like the way it works for the recent engineering, accounting, law, etc. transplants I have met recently. Hey most of those people were set up with Galleria area apartments too.

  • I agree with awp. Houston has a robust economy, and this is recognized by people across many industries. Treasures not only provides jobs for a significant number of people, but a large amount of tax revenue, and perhaps more importantly, a boon to the convention business. If the city has someone willing to testify they are being forced into stripping/prostitution against their will, prosecute. If not, shut up and keep collecting your tax revenue.

  • It’s a whore house! With all the pimps around! What part of that is anybody disputing?

  • How does Treasures get sued for human trafficking but the St. James Cabaret does not? The St. James has a history of violations and has been raided many times in the past. Many of their customers look like gang members.

    The St. James is on Rankin road in north Houston and I read something about it being annexed. Maybe then the city/county will target it.