SCRANTON, Pa. - The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Peter J. Smith announced that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging five individuals with operating a multi-state prostitution network in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The indictment alleges that the five defendants conspired to induce women, some of whom were undocumented aliens, to travel in interstate and foreign commerce for the purpose of prostitution, controlled their travel, and laundered the proceeds of the business.
Charged in the indictment are Lih Kang Shen a/k/a "Michael Shen," 46,; Young Ja Youn a/k/a "Micky," 45, both of Stroudsburg, Pa.; John Vincent Ferraro, 45, of Bartonsville, Pa.; Yu Cheng Lee a/k/a "Ricky," 35, of Tannersville, Pa. and Cin Hsia Chen a/k/a "Judy," 56, of Briarwood, N.Y.
"Once again, our message is clear: if you're involved in criminal schemes to coerce people to engage in sex for your profit, you do so at great risk that ICE will investigate and bring you to justice," said ICE Director John Morton. "ICE will continue to aggressively investigate, arrest and bring to justice criminals engaged in these schemes."
Federal, state, and local law enforcement agents conducted a coordinated search and seizure operation on May 10, 2011, at massage parlor and spa locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. The indictment alleges that the following massage parlors and spas were used for prostitution: Spa 611, Tannersville, Pa.; Accu Massage, Bartonsville, Pa.; Ichiban, Plains, Pa.; Oriental Body Works, Moosic, Pa. and Elite Spa, Overlea, Md. Several motel rooms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey were also allegedly used by the conspirators as brothels.
HSI conducted the on-going investigation with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Attorney's Offices and law enforcement agencies in Philadelphia, Newark, N.J., New York City and Baltimore.
If convicted, each faces a possible maximum sentence of up to 70 years in prison, fines of up to $1.75 million, and a term of supervised release of up to 18 years at the conclusion of any term of imprisonment.