A pair of San Francisco sisters were arrested Monday on suspicion of operating at least four brothels in the city’s Richmond district, where eager patrons paid up to $200 a piece to have sex with young Asian women, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
The two women were identified as Qiao “Judy” He, 37, and her sister Gaineng He, 36. The Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force (TRaCE), a brand new division of the state Attorney General’s office, reportedly began its investigation in January, and were later joined in their efforts by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security department and San Francisco police.
“The victims in these brothels were treated as commodities in an insidious human marketplace,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement on Monday. “Human trafficking is a heinous crime that destroys the lives of victims and threatens the safety of our communities.”
Brothel operators allegedly told undercover agents that “new girls” were brought in every Sunday, according to the Mercury News.
The sisters are reportedly being held at San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of felony pimping and pandering. Apart from the prostitution ring, the women are also under investigation for alleged tax fraud and conspiracy violations, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Bail has been set at $25,000 a piece. San Francisco prosecutors plan to file formal charges against the pair later this week.
Images: San Francisco Police Department