Law and order

A husband and wife who applied to be sheriff’s deputies are barred from working in law enforcement in Arizona after an investigation revealed they were subjects in a prostitution inquiry, records show.

Jason and Julie Drogsvold accepted a consent agreement with the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board for the voluntary denial of their peace officer certifications, said Lori Wait, a compliance specialist with the AZPOST.

“It is a permanent denial so they will never be able to gain certification, and because of that fact no law enforcement agency will be able to employ them in a sworn status capacity,” Wait said.

Without a peace officer certification, a person cannot work as a law enforcement officer in Arizona.

In April 2016, the Drogsvolds enrolled in the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy as deputy recruits from the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, according to the AZPOST’s case overview. On April 13, a detective with the Tucson Police Department was at the academy signing up recruits for community college credits, the overview said. After Julie Drogsvold completed her application, the detective recognized her name from an investigation the detective conducted into unlicensed massage parlors that were advertising on the internet.

The investigation revealed the Drogsvolds operated a massage business that included sexual activity, according to the case overview.

Julie Drogsvold told Cochise County investigators that she and her husband started the business in 2012 after not being able to find work.

While looking for work, the couple came across internet ads for body rubs and massages and Julie, 40, started working in that business.

“She became very popular, was booked solid every day, all day, seven days a week,” Jason Drogsvold, 43, told investigators.

Jason also revealed the workings of the business, in which a man would get a massage followed by a “masturbation release” at the end, according to the case overview.

After about eight months, the couple decided Julie wouldn’t continue to “service clients,” and they opened their own business, hiring two women to work at their house and advertising on internet sites. As the business grew, they employed six women and began operating out of two additional apartments, Jason told investigators.

Julie said she didn’t know if the women engaged in sexual activities, but Jason said the topic came up during job interviews, when the women were told that they only had to touch the client’s genitals at the client’s request and if they felt comfortable doing so, according to the overview.

Jason also told investigators he and his wife were aware one of the women working for them “was performing sexual intercourse and sexual contact with clients,” the overview said.

The Drogsvolds said they closed the business in 2014 after one of their employees called TPD to report that she had been assaulted by another employee, according to the overview. “The Drogsvolds were concerned when this girl involved law enforcement and they knew what they were doing was wrong, so they decided to stop,” the overview said.

The couple told investigators they didn’t reveal the information on their pre-hire background forms because they wanted to leave that life behind. Julie said while she was ashamed of her behavior, they needed the money .

The Drogsvolds’ statements to investigators can’t be used in criminal prosecution.

Contact Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191.

Public safety reporter covering police, fire, courts, and sports-related legal issues.