April 13, 2022 By Christian Murray
Nine men, including seven from Queens, who were allegedly part of a sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise have been charged with racketeering and related crimes, federal authorities announced Tuesday.
The enterprise allegedly operated out of Flushing and its members recruited undocumented Chinese women and then sent them to hotels across the nation to meet johns for sex. The members of the organization then took the proceeds from the woman and would then use some of the money to promote their services, according to authorities.
The women who refused or defected to rival organizations were brutally assaulted by members of the enterprise with hammers, wrenches, and baseball bats.
Federal prosecutors have charged the men with multiple counts of racketeering, sex trafficking, robbery and assault for their alleged involvement in the enterprise between April 19, 2019, and September 2021. Seven of the nine men face life in prison if convicted.
“As alleged, the defendants targeted vulnerable women for sex trafficking and brutally assaulted the victims to enforce loyalty,” said Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in a statement. “Human beings are not property and the victims in this case, regardless of their immigration status, deserve to be free from violence and coerced sexual activity.”
The seven defendants from Queens, according to prosecutors, are Siyang Chen, Siyu Chen– also known as “Ban Ban,” Bo Jiang, Rong Rong Xu–also known as “Eleanor,” Jiarun Yan–also known as “Raymond Yan” and “Mike,” Carlos Cury and Zerong Tang.
The two other men charged are Meizhen Song and Jilong Yu, both from Dallas.
Prosecutors allege that the men were also part of a criminal enterprise that conducted more than 15 violent assaults on women across five states between Jan. 8, 2020 and Sept. 1, 2021. The victims were Chinese women who were providing sex on behalf of rival organizations or had defected from their enterprise.
The members and associates would be directed by higher ups to pretend to be johns, and were told to attack the women. The men would often restrain the women with zip-ties, according to court documents, and then beat them with hammers, bats and other objects.
The higher-ups wanted to make sure the beatings were harsh, and the prosecutors released some of their messages to associates. “Beat [her] to death tomorrow. If she dares fight back, beat her more viciously. ”
Some of the associates provided video of the attacks to impress their bosses.
“The conduct alleged today spells out years of abuse inflicted upon vulnerable women on behalf of those who orchestrated this nationwide sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise,” said Michael Driscoll, an FBI assistant director in a statement. “Victims in this case should know the FBI’s Joint Asian Criminal Task Force won’t tolerate the actions of those who offer the sexual activities of others in exchange for payment.”
If you are a victim or have any information pertaining to sex trafficking—regardless of immigration status– call 1-800-CALL-FBI.