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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Woman Sentenced To Five Years On Forced Labor Charges

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BOSTON - A New York woman was sentenced today in federal court in Boston on charges of conspiring to transport women in interstate travel for the purpose of prostitution, forced labor and harboring aliens.

Hong Wei, a/k/a “Ms. Chen,” 37, of Flushing, New York, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole to five years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.

From August of 2004 through February of 2010, Wei, along with Jing Liang Chen, a/k/a “Mike,” 30 , of Quincy; Xiang Hua Zhang, a/k/a “Darren,” 27, of Flushing, New York; Yuen Jin, a/k/a “Eric,” 26, of Quincy; and Don Kai Chen, 41, of Quincy, engaged in a conspiracy to entice Asian women to travel to Massachusetts to engage in prostitution. The conspiracy involved the use of advertising in various newspapers in New York, California, Massachusetts, and elsewhere, seeking the services of Asian women to work in the defendants’ brothels. The women generally arrived at South Street Bus Station in Boston from New York and elsewhere around the country and were thereafter transported by the defendants to various apartments throughout Massachusetts where they then engaged in prostitution. Some of the women were not legally in the United States when they were harbored in the brothels. Some of the women were forced to work in the brothels.

Jing Liang Chen has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing; Yuen Jin is pending trial; Don Kai Chen pleaded guilty and was sentenced in March 2012 to 15 months in prison. Xiang Hua Zhang pleaded guilty and in November 2011 was sentenced to 21 months.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis; Chief Paul Keenan of the Quincy Police Department; Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office; and Chief Michael Kent of the Burlington Police Department made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura J. Kaplan and Timothy Moran in the Organized Crime Strike Force Unit.

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Updated December 15, 2014