The “commercial sex-buyers” allegedly included elected officials, high tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, attorneys, scientists and accountants, among others.
The three people arrested were Han Lee, 41, and Junmyung Lee, 30, of Massachusetts, and James Lee, 68, of California. They are charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity.
According to the charging documents, from at least July 2020, the defendants operated an interstate prostitution network with multiple brothels in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, as well as in Fairfax and Tysons, Virginia.
It is alleged that the defendants collectively established the infrastructure for brothels in multiple states which they used to persuade, induce and entice women – primarily Asian women – to travel to Massachusetts and Virginia to engage in prostitution.
The trio were arrested on Wednesday, with Han Lee and Junmyung Lee appearing in federal court in Boston the same day. James Lee, who was arrested in California, will appear in court in Boston at a later date, the DOJ said.
According to the DOJ, the trio rented “high-end apartment complexes” as locations to house the brothels. The apartments were regularly furnished and maintained. The monthly rent for the locations were up to $3,664.
They communicated with their clientele via text messages, offering a “menu” of the woman, the sexual services available, and the hourly rates. Prices for appointments ranged from $350 to $600 per hour, depending on the services and were paid in cash.
The prostitution network was allegedly advertised by the defendants on two websites – bostonopten10.com and browneyesgirlsva.blog.
The websites listed the “height, weight and bust size” of women available for appointments and depicted nude and/or semi-nude photographs of each. Regular updates on the women, and those “coming soon” were provided, the DOJ said.
“Over the course of the investigation, a wide array of buyers were identified, including, but not limited to, politicians, high tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, lawyers, scientists and accountants,” the department said in a statement.
An investigation into the operation is still ongoing.