Four Arrested in Takedown of Prostitution, Human Trafficking Ring in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties
ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced criminal charges against four individuals in connection with a prostitution and human trafficking operation being conducted out of multiple massage parlors in Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties.
(Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)
The first defendant, Hui Xu, owned and operated four Tokyo Massage Parlors where prostitution was occurring. Chang Yu Chen, a second player in the ring, would pick up young women at the bus stop and transport them to the parlors. From May 2018 through October 2018, Chen was observed on seven occasions either transporting the young women from the bus stop to a parlor or moving them from one parlor to another.
The third defendant, Huicun Wei, was the owner and manager at Judy’s Oriental Massage Parlor. She solicited customers at that location, offering sexual acts in exchange for money. Finally, fourth defendant Robert Delano Yerick transported victims from the bus stop to the massage parlors owned by Xu. He performed some landscape-related duties outside the parlors, was a frequent patron of the parlors, and housed some of the young women, requiring them to have sex with him.
“These defendants ran a despicable human trafficking ring – abusing women for their own profit and forcing them into prostitution,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “I won’t tolerate this type of treatment of fellow human beings, and taking down trafficking rings is priority of my Office. We will continue to work with our state and local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute these cases and put these criminals out of business.”
Hui Xu, of Shady Street, Mount Pleasant, PA; Huicun Wei, of Main Street, Flushing, NY; Chang Yu Chen, of Old William Penn Highway, Monroeville, PA; and Robert Delano Yerick, of Hillcrest Drive, Delmont, PA; are all charged with various counts including conspiracy, corrupt organizations, trafficking in individuals, prostitution, and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
“The Pennsylvania State Police are committed to investigating individuals and criminal organizations involved in the trafficking of humans for financial gain,” said Captain Tom Dubovi. “This investigation shows that by working cooperatively with law enforcement and other partners, we can bring those who commit these heinous acts to justice.”
The investigation was initiated by the Office of Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police, Murrysville Police Department, and Monroeville Police Department in April 2018.
The criminal complaints were filed this morning and all defendants turned themselves in at District Justice Roger Eckels office in Mount Pleasant, PA. This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Katherine Wymard.
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