Local authorities in Denver busted a multi-million dollar human trafficking ring operating in the area following a year-long investigation.
The ring: Seven people were indicted for their alleged involvement in illegal massage parlors that trafficked women from China, the Denver Channel reported.
- In a statement, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann revealed that the victims were forced into prostitution at the parlors.
- The investigation revealed a total of 14 victims who were coerced to engage in sexual acts with parlor customers.
- Three men and four women were accused of racketeering, pimping and prostitution, money laundering and tax evasion.
- Chen Liang Kuo, 45; Yi Ting Mo, 42; Manqui Xu, 57; Le Zhang, 46; Ying Guo, 49; Xiong Xie, 54; and Xuelin Chen, 33; were all indicted on several counts in violation of Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act.
- Xie and Guo remain at large while the others are currently in custody.
- According to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, Xie was last seen in San Gabriel, Calif., while Guo last stayed in Baton Rouge in Louisiana.
The investigation: Denver Police started looking into the operation back in March 2019 after the Manager of Tax and Licensing in Aurora informed the district attorney’s office of the shutting down of several illicit massage parlors in their area. The report from the Aurora officials indicated that the parlors might have reopened in Denver. Soon after the Denver police and the district attorney’s office launched their investigation, they discovered the Denver Apple Spa.
- The suspects were found to be involved in Tulip Spa, 21 Spa, Mojo Massage, Ocean Foot Massage and others.
- McCann said the suspects conducted their illegal operation while “hiding in plain sight.”
- According to the indictment, the women received a portion of the customers’ fees, while the rest went to the spa operators.
- Some of the women lived at the parlors, paying $14 a day, while others stayed somewhere else, according to the Denver Post.
- The suspects reportedly used millions of dollars from the sex ring profits to fund illegal marijuana grow houses.