April 12, 2022

USA: Nine Members and Associates of Nationwide Sex Trafficking and Prostitution Enterprise Indicted on Racketeering and Related Charges. Asian Mafia Operation Was Based In Queens, New York.

U.S. Dept of Justice
Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Queens-Based Criminal Enterprise Orchestrated Violent Assaults of Women Across the United States

Defendant Instructed Enforcer: “If She Dares Fight Back, Beat Her More Viciously. Get Some Results from the Beating.”

A 20-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn variously charging Siyang Chen, Siyu Chen, also known as “Ban Ban,” Bo Jiang, Meizhen Song, also known as “Die Die,” Rong Rong Xu, also known as “Eleanor,” Jiarun Yan, also known as “Raymond Yan” and “Mike,” Jilong Yu, Carlos Cury and Zerong Tang with racketeering, sex trafficking, Hobbs Act robbery and violent assaults. The operation was based in Queens, New York, but carried out crimes throughout the United States, including in Hawaii, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Texas and Washington. Eight defendants were arrested today and will be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI) and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the arrests and charges.

“As alleged, the defendants targeted vulnerable women for sex trafficking, and brutally assaulted the victims to enforce loyalty to the criminal enterprise. Human beings are not property, and the victims in this case, regardless of their immigration status, deserve to be free from violence and coerced sexual activity. It is our hope that today’s arrests will bring them some measure of justice for the horror that they have endured,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This case is another example of our Office’s longstanding commitment to bringing to justice sex trafficking organizations that exploit and dehumanize victims for financial gain.”

“The conduct alleged today spells out years of abuse inflicted upon vulnerable women on behalf of those who orchestrated this nationwide sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge. “Victims in this case should know the FBI’s Joint Asian Criminal Enterprise Task Force won’t tolerate the actions of those who offer the sexual activities of others in exchange for payment. If you’re a victim or have information to provide, we want to hear from you—regardless of your immigration status. Call us at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.”

“Our job is to ensure that anyone who would seek to profit through the abuse and exploitation of another human being be brought to justice swiftly and successfully,” stated NYPD Commissioner Sewell. “Today’s charges also further affirm the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to protecting the survivors of sex trafficking. To that end, I thank and commend the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District and our partners at the FBI for their immeasurable support in building this critical case.”

As set forth in court filings, between April 2019 and September 2021, the defendants participated in a violent and organized racketeering enterprise, which operated a lucrative prostitution business throughout the United States. The enterprise recruited women, most of whom were from China and lacked legal status in the United States, to engage in prostitution for the enterprise. The victims were sometimes required to provide copies of their identification documents so that the defendants could maintain even more control over them. The enterprise arranged for the women to travel from New York to locations throughout the country, stay in hotels and enterprise-operated apartments for weeks at a time and engage in commercial sex. Members and associates of the organization collected money from the women and the organization then used those illicit proceeds to promote its sex trafficking and interstate prostitution activities — and enrich its members.

As alleged, between January 8, 2020 and September 1, 2021, members and associates of the enterprise directed and conducted more than 15 violent assaults of women across five states. The victims were Chinese women who the organization believed were providing commercial sex services on their own or for rival organizations. By committing these violent assaults, members of the organization sought to enforce discipline and believed their conduct would not be prosecuted because the victims were not U.S. citizens and were engaged in commercial sex work. Specifically, members and associates of the enterprise would direct individuals to pretend to be johns to gain access to their hotel rooms and, once inside, would restrain the women with zip-ties, beat them with hammers, bats and other blunt objects, and rob them. Members of the organization often encouraged increasingly severe beatings of the victims if the initial attack did not sufficiently injure them. In one phone message that was recovered by law enforcement, a member instructed the enforcer: “Beat [her] to death tomorrow. If she dares fight back, beat her more viciously. Get some results from the beating. Can’t waste the money.” In another recovered chat, a member advised, “One person choke her by her throat, the other person strike her four limbs to death. Definitely don’t make a sound. Beat her to the point where she can’t fight back.”

The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Mr. Peace praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the NYPD. This investigation was aided by law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Mr. Peace expressed his thanks to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska, as well as the Oklahoma City and Manchester field offices of United States Homeland Security Investigations and United States Immigration & Customs Enforcement. In addition, local police departments across the United States provided invaluable assistance, including the Beaverton (Oregon) Police Department, Michigan State Police, Missouri Highway Patrol, Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) Police Department, Omaha (Nebraska) Police Department, Overland Park (Kansas) Police Department, Portland (Oregon) Police Department, Southfield (Michigan) Police Department, and Troy (Michigan) Police Department.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by the office’s Organized Crime and Gangs and Civil Rights Sections. Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew R. Galeotti, Kayla C. Bensing and Sophia M. Suarez are in charge of the prosecution.

The FBI’s New York Joint Asian Criminal Enterprise Task Force believes this enterprise may be responsible for the assaults of even more commercial sex workers throughout the country. If you are a victim or have information to provide, there are several ways to contact the FBI: send a tip online at tips.fbi.gov or call 1-800-CALL-FBI. They have people ready to work with you in your native language, regardless of your immigration status. Please select English when prompted and ask the operator for a translator by stating your language of choice. Online tips may be submitted in any language. In an emergency, always call 911 for the police.

The Defendants:

Age: 32
Queens, New York

SIYU CHEN, also known as “Ban Ban,”
Age: 24
Queens, New York

Age: 26
Queens, New York

MEIZHEN SONG, also known as “Die Die,”
Age: 23
Dallas, Texas

RONG RONG XU, also known as “Eleanor,”
Age: 29
Queens, New York

JIARUN YAN, also known as “Raymond Yan” and “Mike,”
Age: 28
Queens, New York

Age: 23
Dallas, Texas

Age: 41
Queens, New York

Age: 24
Queens, New York

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