Barista-stand owner accused of selling something extra with coffee

Sex-worker (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Sex-worker (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

EVERETT, Washington (AP) — Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts.

Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.

Court documents say the baristas would expose their breasts and genitals and charge for sex acts.

The Everett Herald reports Saturday that Panico’s attorney told the court she is no longer in the coffee business and has sold off some of her stands and leased others. In a raid last year, investigators found $250,000 at Panico’s home.

The investigation into Panico has also resulted in the prosecution of a veteran sheriff’s sergeant. Darrell O’Neill is accused of tipping off Panico and baristas to ongoing police investigations in return for sexual favors.

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