The co-owner of Montana’s spa, a former Spokane Valley business thought by investigators to have operated as a brothel, was jailed Tuesday on prostitution and organized crime charges.
Mikal Chandler, 33, faces the same charges filed last week against listed business associate Brandy Birkland. Investigators allege Montana’s on East Trent Avenue operated as a hub for pay-for-sex customers between 2010 and 2012, when it was infiltrated by informants recruited by law enforcement investigating complaints about prostitution at Northern Quest Casino.
The charges against Chandler and Birkland are the toughest yet resulting from a multiagency bust, led by the Airway Heights Police Department, dubbed “Operation Red Light.” Law enforcement officials raided eight suspected Spokane-area brothels in July 2012.
Prosecutors have been working to resolve the cases through plea deals and other negotiations, according to investigators. Birkland and Chandler were unable to be reached, and warrants were issued for their arrest last week.
Chandler was released without bail last week. Her lawyer said in court she’d recently given birth. Prosecutors have indicated they will ask for $50,000 bail for Chandler at a court hearing scheduled for this afternoon.