Criminal enterprise indicted in EDNY for sex trafficking and assaults across the U.S.

September 15, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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A 31-count superseding indictment unsealed Wednesday has implicated three new defendants in connection to a broad-reaching criminal operation responsible for the sex trafficking, beating and robbery of numerous women throughout the United States. This Queens-based organization has had a disturbing national footprint.

Yuan Yuan Chen, also known as “Xiao Pang,” Yichu Chen and Johnnie Kim are the new additions to a growing list of alleged participants in the criminal syndicate. They join Rong Rong Xu, known as “Eleanor,” Siyang Chen, Siyu Chen (alias “Ban Ban”), Carlos Cury (alias “Red”), Bo Jiang, Meizhen Song, also known as “Die Die,” and Jilong Yu as co-defendants.

The charges encompass a range of disturbing allegations from racketeering conspiracy to assault in-aid-of racketeering. The arrests, executed earlier today, come ahead of the scheduled arraignment this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo.

“As alleged, the defendants preyed on vulnerable women for sex trafficking, brutally assaulting them to enforce loyalty to the criminal enterprise,” said Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. 

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“Human beings are not property and deserve to be free from violence and coerced sexual activity,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This case is another example of our office’s longstanding commitment to bringing to justice sex trafficking organizations that exploit and seek to dehumanize victims for financial gain.”

Details emerging from the court filings portray a chilling landscape of coercion and violence. The organization allegedly engaged in a nationwide prostitution business, employing ruthless tactics to ensure loyalty and control. This included beatings with blunt objects, resulting in severe injuries to the victims.

Central to the criminal enterprise, Yuan Yuan is charged with overseeing the organization’s prostitution business across states. Allegedly, she played a pivotal role in controlling and recruiting sex workers. Methods of control ranged from retaining personal documents of the women to using videos of violent assaults as deterrents against defection or collaboration with rivals.

Yichu Chen and Johnnie Kim’s roles are said to have been particularly malevolent – both were purported enforcers for the organization. Detailed descriptions of their alleged participation in assaults emphasize their severity. In one instance, Kim and co-defendant Cury violently assaulted a victim to the point of unconsciousness.

Communication platforms such as WeChat unveiled plans and details of these assaults, with some members recording and sharing videos as a grotesque proof of their commitment to violence.

Two defendants previously charged, Raymond Jiarun Yan and Zerong Tang, have already pleaded guilty and are now awaiting sentencing.


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