PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Three people from Oregon along 3 others from different countries were indicted by a federal grand jury with running sex trafficking organizations in the US, Canada and Australia.
Chaodan Wang, 32, and 35-year-old Ting Fu are charged with conspiracy in racketeering while 40-year-old Hui Ling Sun is charged with “using interstate facilities to promote, manage, establish, carry on or facilitate a racketeering enterprise,” the US Attorney for Oregon said.
Wang and Fu are from Beaverton, while Sun is from Portland.
Partnering with local law enforcement around the country, the FBI coordinated sting operations targeting the organizations run by the Oregon defendants, as well as “other Asian sex trafficking networks.”
Authorities said the FBI seized the primary website of one of the organizations plus 500 other associated domains, “including 25 location-specific sub-sites,” the US Attorney’s Office of Oregon said in a release.
The other defendants in the case are Zongtao Chen (aka Mark Chen), 46, of Toronto, Canada; Weixuan Zhou (aka Marco Zhou), 37, of Guangzhou, China; and Yan Wang (aka Sarah Wang), 33, of Temecula, California.
How it worked
Mark Chen recruited women, mostly from China, to travel to the US for prostitution and sex trafficking. In the cities where they were working, a “boss” would manage a brothel in a hotel or apartment complex.
Customers would connect with them through one of the websites, or by text, email or WeChat and a “date” would be set up. A computer tracked all of the “dates” and logged more than 30,000 customer phone numbers with details.
In Oregon, Mark Chen oversaw brothels in Portland, Tigard and Beaverton, the US Attorney’s Office said.
Hui Ling Sun appeared in federal court in Portland on Tuesday. Ting Fu is expected in court Wednesday.
Sarah Wang appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday. Mark Chen was arrested in Toronto and officials are working on extradition.
It’s not known where Chaodan Wang is and it’s believed Weixuan Zhou is in China.
“Trafficking adults for sex can at times be overlooked by our society because some believe the adult victims have a choice. This notion is false,” US Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams said in a statement. “These victims are powerless and often thousands of miles away from their home, native language and personal connections who might help them escape. We have always and will continue to aggressively pursue criminals who exploit vulnerable victims.”