BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – Federal court documents reveal in the past, the owner of an adult novelty store on State Street in Bristol, Va. was selling more than just lingerie, pornography and synthetic drugs.
Instead, pictures filed at the federal courthouse in Greeneville earlier this month show waist-high holes in private rooms inside Exotic Illusions. Detective Sgt. Steven Crawford says those holes had one purpose and one purpose only.
“It’s apparent what they were for,” Sgt. Crawford, who works for the Bristol, Virginia Police Department, said. “These booths were side by side, and of course the holes joined them. There were holes in the wall just specifically for sexual acts.”
As we told you last week, Daniel Guy Bickley struck a plea deal in federal court, admitting he sold $1 million worth of synthetic drugs, not just from his smoke shops, but also from Exotic Illusions.
Sgt. Crawford says since federal agents raided the XXX store a couple of years ago, they’ve received fewer complaints about the business, but he’s not convinced the illegal activity there has stopped.
“We knew the complaints weren’t coming in, but we knew it hadn’t closed,” he said. “It’s still a place to go. There’s a private parking area behind the place. We still know what’s going on.”
Having gone undercover inside Exotic Illusions before, Sgt. Crawford says he’s seen the holes with his own eyes. Sgt. Crawford says the holes, which allowed for anonymous sex acts, weren’t the only thing they found amid a maze of tiny video viewing rooms.
“I saw six or seven booths; they looked like phone booths basically,” he said. “Anything from condoms to movies to trash cans to bodily fluids in there. One of these holes went straight into (the owner’s) office.”
In the past, Sgt. Crawford says sting operations have led to the arrests of several men, all from outside of Bristol, accused of performing sexual acts using these holes as a way to meet in the middle; their identities hidden by the wall that separated them.
“He repaired when he was asked but there was always new ones,” Sgt. Crawford said of the owner. “We would address it, the holes would be taken away and then we’d get reports again of the holes being there and that was going on, so we would send a person in.”
He says police haven’t returned since the raid there two years ago, but he says that doesn’t mean the activity has ceased.
“I think it’s assisted in slowing certain activity down,” he said. “The whole place had been reconstructed on a couple of occasions. We haven’t received the complaints that we once received there. We honestly don’t know what’s going on inside the place now.”
Sgt. Crawford says the business is still on the police department’s radar.
So what does the owner have to say? When we approached Bickley with questions about the federal investigation and the holes he didn’t say much.
“I can’t help you,” he told us.
His attorney was also tight-lipped.
“I have no comment whatsoever,” Rick Spivey said. “That case is still ongoing.”
Bickley is scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday at 1:30 pm to plead guilty to the synthetic drug crimes. It’s unclear when he will be sentenced and how much involvement he will have with Exotic Illusions in the future.
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