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Police, feds raid Seattle strip clubs

Seattle- Police and federal agents raided several strip clubs in at least two counties Monday as part of a racketeering investigation into Seattle strip club owner Frank Colacurcio Sr. [pictured] and his associates, according to the FBI.

Agents from the Internal Revenue Service criminal division and FBI served warrants on multiple properties, including Rick’s strip club on Lake City Way, along with Sugar’s, a club on Aurora Avenue North in Shoreline, and another club in Snohomish County. Authorities also descended on Talents West, a Colacurccio-owned business that places strippers in his clubs, and on Colacurcio’s private home, according to the FBI.

One FBI agent entered Talents West carrying several unassembled document boxes.

Authorities were expected to announce at a news conference this afternoon that temporary restraining orders had been filed against several of the Colacurcio’s properties under federal racketeering statutes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Controversy and the authorities have dogged the Colacurcio family for years. In January, Colacurcio, 90, pleaded guilty to illegal campaign contributions to three Seattle City Council candidates. His son, Frank Colacurcio Jr., also pleaded guilty to similar charges as part of the 2003 “Strippergate” scandal.

They and others were accused of evading campaign contribution limits by having friends and relatives and others give money to the candidates in 2003, then secretly paying them back. Prosecutors said it was political money laundering to win approval of a zoning change for a parking-lot expansion at Rick’s strip club on Lake City Way.

Police frequently cite Colacurcio-owned clubs such as Rick’s as dens of prostitution. The Seattle Police Department has targeted Rick’s in numerous undercover sting operations, often resulting in which dozens of arrests for suspicion of prostitution or illegal touching. Very few of the women, however, are charged with prostitution in court.


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