Thanks to Patch for this:
MACOMB COUNTY, MI — Three women are facing charges after police broke up a human trafficking ring in Metro Detroit, according to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.
Xiaohong Ban of Chicago, 52, was charged with keeping a house of prostitution, which carries up to five years in prison if convicted. She was placed in jail on a $10,000 bond. If she is released from jail, she must wear a GPS tether. Her next is scheduled for Dec. 27.
Lori Cai of Troy, 31, and Shuying Ding of Appleton, Wisconsin, 41, were each charged with keeping house of prostitution. Ding also was charged with prostitution, which is a 93-day misdemeanor.
Officials have not arrested the other two women yet because they are out of state, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said during a news conference.
The sheriff’s office said the three women were running multiple massage parlors that were offering sexual solicitation in metro Detroit. A tip led investigators to online sites where women solicited online for sex.
The massage parlors were in Livonia, Shelby Township, Fraser and Mt. Clemens.
Last Wednesday, officers executed multiple search warrants across Metro Detroit, including the massage parlors and two residences, in Troy and Livonia, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Eight people were arrested during the operation, and officers seized $35,000 in U.S. currency and $6,700 in Canadian currency, the Sheriff’s Office said. Officers also confiscated twenty-two cell phones, a laptop and a tablet.
Three of the people arrested during the operation were turned over to U.S. Border Patrol for overstaying their visas. The others were released pending misdemeanor charges, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Investigators determined the workers at massage spas were encouraged to solicit sexual acts from customers. The workers (who were all women) had no means of transportation and had no place to live, and often slept at the businesses, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The workers didn’t earn an hourly rate and only got paid from their services and tips, officials said. Investigators believe they were rotated between different spas every 45 days or less if they didn’t provide enough money for the business, often traveling to other Midwestern states, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Officials said they don’t know how long the ring has been operating, as an investigation is still ongoing.
Representatives from Turning Point, which provides housing and counseling services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking, aided officers during the operation. President/CEO of Turning Point Sharman Davenport said that her organization operates a 24/7 hotline at (586) 463-6990.
“Thank you to the incredible joint efforts by all of the law enforcement agencies and Turning Point in this case. This proves that with the necessary resources we can succeed in ridding prostitution and human trafficking from our communities,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido said.