Alleged Korean Gang Members Accused of Extorting Local Business Owners
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The alleged leader of the Korean Night Breeders street gang in Fairfax County, Va., and another gang member have been indicted by a federal grand jury accused of using fear, violence, and threats of violence to extort or attempt to extort various businesses in the Annandale area of Fairfax County.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C., made the announcement.
Han Sa Yu, 43, a citizen of the Republic of Korea and a permanent resident of the United States living in Fairfax, Va., is alleged to be the leader of the Korean Night Breeders, and Je Hyung Yoo, 29, a citizen of the Republic of Korea who is unlawfully present in the United States and living in Rockville, Md., are each charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, attempted extortion, and four counts of extortion. Each offense carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
According to the indictment, from January 2006 through June 2012, Yu and Yoo allegedly approached owners of doumi, restaurants, and taxi businesses operating in the Annandale area of Fairfax County and threatened the owners with violence and beatings unless they paid a “tax” or “protection” money. The indictment alleges that Yu, Yoo, and other gang members attacked a taxi driver and threatened him with death, and after the beating instructed the victim to pay the demanded money. Another victim was threatened with further violence after being accused of calling the police about threats. Victims allegedly paid between $200 and $1,000 at a time and received threatening reminders each time another payment was due.
The investigation was conducted by HSI Washington, D.C., with the assistance from the Fairfax County Police Department. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Frank and Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Marc Birnbaum are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.