An Soon Kim, 52, was arrested by ICE HSI special agents based in Hartford. She was arrested at the Mohegan Sun Casino pursuant to an active arrest warrant. Kim is wanted for engaging in a wide-ranging human trafficking ring operating throughout the northeastern United States.
Kim has been charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York with crimes including conspiracy to engage in human trafficking, conspiracy to engage in interstate transportation of women for the purpose of prostitution and interstate transportation of women for the purpose of prostitution, conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and transportation of illegal aliens, and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.
On Friday, ICE HSI special agents received information that Kim was present at the Mohegan Sun Casino. Kim was taken into custody directly from the casino floor and subsequently admitted her identity to the arresting officers. Kim was also in possession of $17,045 at the time of her arrest. Kim's apprehension was the result of a joint investigation conducted by agents and detectives of ICE HSI and the Connecticut State Police Casino Unit.
Kim made her initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford, where Kim waived her right to hearings. She will be transferred back to New York to face charges from the 2006 complaint.
"I am pleased that my agents in Hartford were able to apprehend this fugitive," said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Boston. Foucart oversee ICE HSI throughout New England. "This is a clear example of the exemplary partnerships ICE HSI has here in Connecticut. Working with our law enforcement partners, which include the Connecticut State Police Casino Unit and the Mohegan Sun Casino authorities, we were able to track down this fugitive who will face charges in New York."
Earlier this month, President Obama announced that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. "Human trafficking is a global travesty that takes many forms. Whether forced labor or sexual trafficking, child soldiering or involuntary domestic servitude, these abuses are an affront to our national conscience, and to our values as Americans and human beings," said President Obama. "There is no one type of victim -- men and women, adults and children are all vulnerable. From every corner of our Nation to every part of the globe, we must stand firm in defense of freedom and bear witness for those exploited by modern slavery."
ICE is attacking these types of crimes on several fronts. The agency encourages the public to recognize and report human trafficking crimes through its Hidden in Plain Sight public outreach campaign. The campaign included widespread distribution of posters, billboards and transit shelter signs. ICE is taking a global strategy, working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international partners hosting meetings, coordinating efforts and sharing information to dismantle human trafficking organizations that bring such desperation to the people they ensnare.
ICE's Victims Assistance Program helps to coordinate services in support of human trafficking victims. In April 2009, ICE was recognized for its commitment to assisting victims of crime with a Federal Service Award from the U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victims' Service Awards program.