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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Illegal alien pleads guilty to sex trafficking South Korean women in Mississippi

GULFPORT, Miss. — A South Korean national illegally present in the United States pleaded guilty Wednesday to transporting illegal aliens into Mississippi for financial gain in connection with a sex trafficking organization. The guilty plea follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Biloxi Police Department.

According to court documents, Moonseop Kim, 54, posted an internet ad offering Korean female escort services in September 2012. Undercover officers with the Biloxi police responded to the ad and conducted a sting operation which resulted in the arrest of Kim and a Korean female. HSI investigators subsequently discovered Kim was connected to a multi-state prostitution ring operated out of Atlantic City, N.J., and that Kim and the female had both overstayed their visas and were illegally in the country.

"Criminals who sexually exploit illegal aliens for financial gain often use intimidation or force to threaten these vulnerable women into compliance," said HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. "HSI actively works with state and local law enforcement partners to identify and bring to justice anyone who victimizes or exploits others for illegal profit." Parmer oversees a five state area of operations to include Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Kim is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in June. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, Kim faces removal from the United States following the completion of his prison term.