Law enforcement authorities must now decide whether to deport the Thai women involved in the ring.Dart said he doesn’t have any qualms about the United States sending back the women running the brothels after their cases are adjudicated.
Tandon, Alexander and Mintz are described in the indictment as “facilitators.” A law enforcement source said Alexander was a customer of the prostitution ring, then married Phimkhalee in what authorities believe was a sham wedding in order for her to obtain a green card to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.All three men rented apartments for the prostitutes, sources said.The case is unrelated to one announced just a few weeks ago when two people arrested in a large-scale prostitution and trafficking operation in Woodbury in the Twin Cities offered commercial sex services in more than a dozen states, according to prosecutors in eastern Minnesota's Washington County.Wilaiwan Phimkhalee is charged with running a brothel that employed Thai prostitutes in forced labor.A Minnesota-based federal agent pursued the tip, and then former U. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger expanded the investigation.
The charges allege that from January 2009 through May 2017, the organization trafficked hundreds of women, possibly even into the thousands, from Bangkok, Thailand, to various cities across the U.
The prostitutes usually kept about 60 percent of their pay, which typically was 0 an hour, with the rest going to the house boss, prosecutors said.
They said the prostitutes were rotated among brothels across the United States.
The organization also engaged in widespread visa fraud to get the victims into the U. Traffickers assisted the victims in obtaining fraudulent visas and travel documents by funding false bank accounts, creating fictitious backgrounds and occupations, and instructing the victims to enter into fraudulent marriages to increase the likelihood that their visa applications would be approved, the indictment alleges."This indictment outlines charges against 21 members of a multi-million dollar, modern day organized crime operation.
This is a highly complex case that required years of hard work, steadfast determination and dedication to bring these defendants to justice and provide hope to the hundreds of victims," said Acting United States Attorney for Minnesota Gregory Brooker in announcing the indictments.
But the women who were working off debts as prostitutes are another matter, he said.