Skip to comments.ICE & FBI agents arrest 31 Korean nationals throughout the NE US in federal human trafficking case
Posted on 08/17/2006 8:30:33 AM PDT by Calpernia
ICE & FBI agents arrest 31Korean nationals throughout the Northeastern United States in federal human trafficking case
Korean women were smuggled to U.S. work as prostitutes in brothels
NEW YORK, NY -- Michael J. Garcia, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Mark J. Mehrson, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, today announced that 31 individuals were arrested yesterday and charged in a wide-ranging human trafficking ring operating throughout the Northeastern United States.
The defendants have been charged by the United States Attorneys' Offices for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York with crimes including conspiracy to engage in human trafficking; conspiracy to engage in interstate transportation of women for the purpose of prostitution and interstate transportation of women for the purpose of prostitution, conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and transportation of illegal aliens; and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.
The defendants include brothel owners and managers, middlemen who worked as transporters and otherwise assisted the organization, and individuals involved in unlicensed money transmitting businesses. ICE and FBI agents executed arrest warrants and/or search warrants in New York, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, North Carolina, and California.
Investigation launched in 2005
According to complaints unsealed today in Manhattan federal court and in Brooklyn federal court, the investigation began in approximately May 2005, when a Korean couple who owned and operated a chain of Korean brothels in Queens, New York, attempted to bribe an undercover New York City Police Department ("NYPD") detective to protect their businesses from being raided by law enforcement. Working in an undercover capacity, the detective began accepting bribes from the couple.
Between May 2005 and March 2006, the couple paid the undercover detective a total of $126,500 in cash bribes. On March 8, 2006, the couple and two NYPD officers, who were discovered during the investigation to be accepting bribes, were arrested and charged with public corruption offenses. That prosecution is pending in federal district court in Brooklyn before the Honorable Sandra L. Townes.
The government expanded its investigation and obtained a court-authorized wiretap on the telephone of Tae Hoon Kim, also known as "Tae Won," the Flushing-based middleman and transporter. The wiretap led to the discovery of an extensive network of Korean-owed brothels, stretching from Rhode Island to Washington, D.C.
Women recruited from Korea, smuggled to U.S:
According to the complaints, the trafficking process typically began when recruiters in Korea and the United States identified women in Korea who wanted to come to the United States, often to make money to support their families in Korea. The recruiters would then arrange for the transportation of the women to North America.
In some cases, the recruiters provided the women with false immigration documents to enable the women to enter the United States illegally. In other instances, the women were taken into the custody of other handlers in Canada or Mexico and then smuggled into the United States.
The complaints allege that, by the time the women arrived in the United States, they had incurred large financial debts, usually in the tens of thousands of dollars, to the recruiters in Korea and other members of the defendants' organization.
Women put to work at U.S. brothels to pay off smuggling debt:
Middlemen in the United States arranged for the women to be placed in one of the networks numerous brothels and then transported the women to the brothels. In many cases, the brothels purported to be legal enterprises such as massage parlors, health spas and acupuncture clinics, but in fact generated the vast majority of their revenue through illegal prostitution.
Once the women were delivered to the brothels, they were placed under the supervision and custody of the brothel owner or manager, who frequently took possession of the women's identification and travel documents, including passports, to restrict the ability of the women to leave.
The complaints charge that the women then begin working in the brothels as prostitutes, typically with their earnings credited against their outstanding debts to the members of the criminal organization. In some instances, the women were threatened or led to believe that if they left the prostitution business before paying off their debts, they would be turned over to United States law enforcement or immigration authorities, or that their families in Korea would be harmed.
Women traded between brothels on East Coast:
The intercepted telephone conversations revealed that the women were routinely traded and exchanged between and among the various brothel owners and managers, sometimes as often as several times per month, until they worked off their original debts to the defendants.
When a new worker was needed, the owner or manager simply placed a call to a middleman or transporter, who located a woman who fit the manager's need and arranged for the transportation of the woman to the new brothel. In addition, the middlemen assisted the brothel owners in sending prostitution proceeds and other funds overseas through unlicensed Korean money transmitters.
United States Attorney Garcia stated, "This case is a reminder that large-scale human trafficking occurs every day, right in our own cities and neighborhoods. The United States government is dedicated putting an end to this type of trafficking, and to punishing those who seek to profit from the sexual exploitation of others."
"We will continue to employ all available resources to investigate and prosecute those who would exploit vulnerable women for personal profit," said United States Attorney Mauskopf.
"This law enforcement operation successfully shut down an organization that cashed in human dignity for profit and greed," said ICE Assistant Secretary Myers. "ICE will continue to aggressively target the means, money and infrastructure of organizations that exploit individuals."
If convicted of the charges, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment for the conspiracy charges and up to ten years imprisonment for interstate sex trafficking.
Mr. Garcia and Ms. Mauskopf praised the work of ICE and the FBI, as well as the NYPD, and thanked the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Rhode Island, the District of Connecticut, the Eastern and Middle District of Pennsylvania, the District of Delaware, the District of Maryland, the District of Washington, D.C., the Eastern District of Virginia, the District of Kansas, and the District of Colorado. Mr. Garcia and Ms. Mauskopf added that the investigation is continuing.
Assistant United States Attorneys Elie Honig and Jason P. W. Halperin are in charge of the prosecution in Manhattan. Assistant United States Attorney Pamela Chen and Trial Attorney Solette Magnelli of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division are in charge of the prosecution in Brooklyn.
The charges contained in the Complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Defendants: Brothel Owners / Managers
Kyo Hwa Adler DOB: 3/21/1953
Sun Im An DOB: 1/15/1962
Ji Hyun Bang DOB: 6/2/1976
Aeok Boydston, a/k/a "Big Sister Lillie" DOB: 5/8/1957
Un Sun Brown DOB: 6/27/1950
Eun Sook Chim, DOB: 5/14/55
Kim Chong, a/k/a "Big Sister Lora" DOB: 5/20/1960 or 5/1/1960
Yong Chong, a/k/a âRa Raâ DOB: 12/16/1968
Sun Daneman DOB: 10/15/1945
Chong Girouard DOB: 8/28/1949
Chun Grandt, a/k/a "Texas Imo" DOB: 2/5/1952
Mi Sun Hayes, DOB: 9/27/1953
An Soon Kim DOB: 8/2/1957
Hyang Ran Kim, a/k/a "Tina" DOB: 6/7/1975
Hyea Kim, a/k/a "Patty Kim" DOB: 1/15/1969 or 1/21/1969
Kyung Hwa Kim DOB: 11/1/1971
Yong Hui Kim DOB: Unknown
Jung Lim, a/k/a "Big Sister Miko" DOB: Unknown
Kum Ok Lowery DOB: 4/23/1953 or 4/28/1953
Myong Moon, a/k/a "Debbie" DOB: 2/19/1960
Tae Young Oh DOB: Unknown
Eun Ja Park DOB: 10/6/1967
Mi Ja Park DOB: 4/19/1965
Sung Su Plourde DOB: 1/22/1952
Seng Hee Ryan DOB: 6/30/1973
Myong Sa DOB: 3/20/1942
Jae Shim DOB: 2/27/1966, 2/27/1968 or 12/13/1960
Hyo Won Smith, a/k/a "Niko" DOB: 12/20/1967
Tae Nam Thompson DOB: 3/26/1950
Chong Weishaupt DOB: 9/30/1953
Tae Young Oh DOB: Unknown
Kyong Polachek, a/k/a "Ji-yeon Kim," "Jennifer" and "Hana" DOB: 3/29/1952
Tae Ho Choi, a/k/a "Tae Jun Park" DOB: 12/20/1974
related smuggling with Chinese criminal networks
'Sister Ping' Convicted in Smuggling Scheme
Golden Venture Survivors Face Another Hurdle
Thanks, good report.
The unwanted side-effect of S. Korea's anti-prostitution law. Prostitution went underground, and many who pushed out of work opted to go abroad to continue their work. This also effectively destroyed the established mechanism to control spread of AIDS.
Rather than disappearing, it is metathesizing.
DA's in NY can thank Feminazis in S. Korea for their increased workload.
I think the DA's in NY can thank the terrorism of socialists for the increased work load. Bush said in his State of the Union he was putting an end to Human Trafficking.
LOL, that was cute!
This Korean brothel/massage parlor business has been going on for 25+ years. Its has been rampant in the I-75 corridor from the Mich/Ohio north end all the way doen through to Florida. Its has been especialy prosperous in Ky, Tenn and Georgia. Pay-off to the local Pd/Sheriffs have been the standard MO. These woemen are trafficed like cattle. Usually living in the parlors, cooking in the back and sleeping in their work spaces. Some communitiesshut them down, but most just don;t want to admit these places exist - "My BillyBob wouldn't mess with no Chiineese/Ko-re-an womens."
Sad stuff - - just follow the money.
But then again...it is the Worlds Oldest Profession.
It's the trafficking and slavery I'm making noise about ;)
That is true, but the pace picked up recently, due to the reason I mentioned above.
More power to ya!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.