A Westchester resident is among four men facing charges for their roles in allegedly trafficking women for sex in multiple states.
Geoffrey Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District announced the arrest of the four on Tuesday, including 49-year-old Bronxville resident Guixia Wu “stemming from a conspiracy to engage in the interstate trafficking of women, primarily Chinese nationals, for the purpose of prostitution."
The women were reportedly moving into and out of hotels and motels in seven states, including New York and Connecticut.
According to the indictment unsealed in federal court this week, between 2013 and 2017, Flushing, Queens resident Gui You Wu was the manager of a business engaged in the interstate trafficking of the women, who were transported to and from hotels and motels throughout the country, by means of vehicles and the purchase of airline tickets.
Berman said that the prostitution business recruited customers through the placement of ads for escort services, which Guixia Wu, and Flushing residents Youme Chen and Youmei Chen assisted Gui You Wu with. The three also promoted the business through the payment of hotels, travel coordination and the movement of receipts of proceeds from the alleged prostitution ring. Gui You Wu transported a woman to a hotel located in Newburgh for prostitution, according to the indictment.
The alleged prostitution ring reportedly brought in millions of dollars.
Each of the four men was arrested this week and charged with one count of conspiring to violate the Mann Act and the Travel Act by conspiring to transport individuals in interstate commerce with the intent of promoting prostitution, which carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
“As alleged, these defendants promoted and managed a multi-state prostitution business through an extensive network of operators who worked in different locations to advertise and facilitate prostitution,” Berman stated. “These defendants then allegedly raked in millions of dollars from their illegal and exploitive activities.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney added that “prostitution is a serious and harmful offense. And, in some cases prostitution can serve as a gateway for criminals with direct connections to human trafficking, organized crime, and other illegal activities. The migratory nature of these crimes makes it critical for law enforcement entities to work together to tackle this widespread dilemma. We will continue to support our law enforcement partners who play a critical role in combating this type of criminal activity.”
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