Updated:PINE HILLS, Fla. —
The owner of an Orange County barbershop was arrested after Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation agents raided the business and said it was being used as a strip club.
Super Fades barbershop, which sits along Pine Hills Road, is closed following the raid that sent its owner, 42-year-old Derrick Price, to jail.
Agents said they found a 17-year-old girl stripping inside the business. But Price denies that he was using the shop as a strip club.
"It's customer appreciation. I thank my customers for coming in and supporting me, that's all it was," Price said to Eyewitness News.
MBI investigator Lt. Mike Gibson said undercover agents visited the barbershop by day and learned that it quickly morphed into a liquor-selling strip club every Saturday night.
“On each and every occasion they were serving alcohol and they had strippers. And
not strippers following local law, but strippers that went completely nude,” Gibson said.
Undercover agents said about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, they bought $20 worth of vodka at the business, where
the 17-year-old was allegedly one of many women working as a stripper.
The underage girl was charged with lewd acts and adult entertainment crimes, but agents are investigating whether she was forced to work against her will.
"We had to speed up our investigation quite a bit to get the juvenile out, and in fact, we did,” Gibson said.
There was a $10 cover charge for patrons to get in during those times, authorities said. But Price denied that he was collecting a cover fee when he talked to Channel 9.
"I wasn't taking money for anything, I take donations," Price said.
Neighboring business owners told Channel 9 they didn't know about the alleged extracurricular activities at Super Fade, but MBI agents said it was no surprise what was going on.
"Surely he could make $600-$700 a night as the owner running this strip club," said Gibson.
Investigators said they removed a stripper pole permanently installed in the middle of the shop.
“That would have been a piece of equipment that was there even when they operated during the day while they acted as a barbershop,” Gibson said. "I've never gone to a
barbershop that had a stripper pole."
Investigators said a tipster prompted them to take in cameras, where they shot video so graphic WFTV chose not to air it.
Gibson said they expect to make more arrests in the case. Price was booked into the Orange County Jail, but he has since bonded out.