Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has announced that 55-year-old Jimmy Gong Lee has been sentenced to 10-years in prison and must pay a penalty for his role in an Emeryville, California-based sex trafficking ring, reports Highland Community News.
Lee and Tom Loi pled guilty in May to multiple felony charges. Lee pled to conspiracy to commit pandering, two counts of bribery, and three counts of tax fraud. They are two of four defendants who have been arrested and charged for operating a sex trafficking ring out of Acucare Oriental Massage, an acupuncture and massage center. The other defendants have yet to be convicted.
A joint investigation revealed the center operated as a brothel where young girls were sold for commercial sex and replaced every two weeks. The four operators were arrested and charged last December after an undercover operation by police.
The bust highlights Attorney General Harris’s efforts to reduce sex trafficking in California, as the state is one of the top destinations for human traffickers. The Human Trafficking Work Group was created in 2012 and released a report detailing the prevalence of sex trafficking in the area.
“The defendant sold young, vulnerable women as commodities,” said Attorney General Harris. “This sentence brings a perpetrator of this heinous crime to justice, and sends a clear message that sex traffickers will be swiftly prosecuted. I thank our DOJ agents and our local, state and federal partners for their continued commitment to fighting trafficking in communities across California.”
You can read details of how authorities carried out their sting in the Highland Community News.