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Statement of U.S. Attorney John F. Wood
May 11, 2007

          Four Chinese nationals who own and operate a group of Asian massage parlors in Johnson County, Kansas, were charged in federal court today with transporting persons across state lines and over national borders for the purpose of prostitution.

 

          Ling Xu, Zhong Yan Liu, Cheng Tang, and Hongmei Madole were charged in a criminal complaint filed this morning, copies of which have been distributed.

 

          Today’s criminal complaint alleges that these massage parlors merely served as fronts for profitable and thriving international prostitution operations. For more than a year, until they were arrested during the execution of yesterday’s search warrants, the defendants allegedly transported women to work as prostitutes. The defendants brought women from China into the United States, then across state lines from California to Kansas City International Airport and into Kansas. Although the businesses are located in Johnson County, the prostitution activity repeatedly crossed the state line between Kansas and Missouri.

 

          Let me add that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.