WICHITA, KAN. - A Massachusetts woman has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the harboring of undocumented workers as part of a human trafficking scheme, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Xiuqing Tian, 44, Framingham, Mass., pleaded guilty to one count of harboring undocumented aliens. In her plea, Tian admitted she entered the United States in September 2009 and came to Wichita with an agreement to work for co-defendants Yan Zhang and Gary Kidgell in their Sun Chi Spa massage business. After she arrived, Tian was encouraged and expected by Zhang and Kidgell to perform sexual acts with patrons of the spa. Kidgell and Zhang later opened AG Spa, where Tian was similarly employed.
While working for Kidgell, Tian helped recruit other Chinese women to work in his massage businesses. She provided translation services and conducted interviews of Chinese females. In January 2011, at Kidgell’s direction, she used the telephone to recruit a woman by telling her she would make a lot of money in Wichita. After the woman arrived in Wichita, she was met by Tian and Kidgell, who transported her to Kidgell’s residence. The woman was made to stay there and to pay rent. Both Tian and Kidgell knew the woman was not a United States citizen.
Sentencing is set for Jan. 29. Tian faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
Co-defendants Kidgell and Zhang are awaiting trial.
The Wichita Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.