Feds shut down brothels in Portland, Tigard, Beaverton
Federal prosecutors have charged six people with allegedly running an international sex-trafficking scheme that promoted illegal prostitution across the U.S. — including in Portland, Beaverton and Tigard.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has seized a website, www.supermatchescort.com, as well as 500 associated domains they say were used to advertise and facilitate the string of vice crimes.
The websites, many of which were specific to certain cities, showed "multiple pictures of Asian women posing in a provocative manner, often wearing lingerie or bikinis," according to court documents.
"The pictures of the women typically show the location where they are working, their contact information, their physical measurements, and a short description of the woman," the indictment continued. "Many of the advertisements also provide a description, using coded language, of the prostitution related services they offer."
Authorities say the organization's "dispatchers" used a computer program with 30,000 logged customer phone numbers to schedule "dates," which took place in leased apartments and homes.
Police have arrested one alleged local boss: 35-year-old Beaverton resident Ting Fu. Another former Beaverton resident, 32-year-old Chaodan Wang, has fled to an unknown location.
Federal prosecutors also indicted four others, including Hui Ling Sun, 40, of Portland, who is in custody.
A California resident and a person living in Toronto, Canada, were also arrested.
"These victims are powerless and often thousands of miles away from their home, native language and personal connections who might help them escape," said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. "We have always and will continue to aggressively pursue criminals who exploit vulnerable victims."
The FBI says it assisted five victims working in the local brothels and has ensured they have access to social, medical and legal services.
Added Renn Cannon, special agent in charge of the Portland FBI branch: "Vulnerable women looking for a new life in the U.S. instead find traffickers who cash in on their cultural isolation by profiting from the sale of sex services. In many cases, these women lack the language skills and understanding of American civil rights to ask for help or assistance from law enforcement."
Police say the alleged criminal enterprise was headed by Mark Chen, who recruited women from China to travel to the U.S.