Four individuals have been indicted in connection with trafficking women at “massage parlors” in Framingham and Western Massachusetts after law enforcement dismantled the criminal operations in a major multistate law enforcement takedown in December, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today, Feb. 16.
“Far too often, we are finding that these body works establishments operate as fronts for human trafficking,” said Healey in a statement. “We will continue to takedown these criminal enterprises and disrupt these business models that are based on making a profit off of the sexual exploitation of human beings.”
The Framingham massage parlor Massage Body Work was located on Union Avenue before it was closed.
The defendants were indicted on Wednesday by a Statewide Grand Jury on the following charges:
Feng Ling Liu, 50, charged with Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Servitude (3 counts), Conspiracy to Traffic Persons for Sexual Servitude (3 counts), Transacting in Laundered Money (3 counts), Deriving Support From Prostitution (3 counts), and Keeping a House of Ill Fame (3 counts)
Jian Song, 48, charged with Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Servitude (3 counts), Conspiracy to Traffic Persons for Sexual Servitude (3 counts), Transacting in Laundered Money (3 counts), Deriving Support From Prostitution (3 counts), and Keeping a House of Ill Fame (3 counts)
Ting Ting Yin, 26, charged with Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Servitude (3 counts), Conspiracy to Traffic Persons for Sexual Servitude (3 counts), Transacting in Laundered Money (3 counts), Deriving Support From Prostitution (3 counts), and Keeping a House of Ill Fame (3 counts)
Shuzi Li, 52, charged with Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Servitude (2 counts), Transacting in Laundered Money (2 counts), Deriving Support From Prostitution (2 counts) and Keeping a House of Ill Fame (2 counts)
Liu, Song and Yin allegedly trafficked women between New York and locations in Hadley, East Longmeadow, and Framingham. Liu and Yin will be arraigned in Hampshire Superior Court tomorrow and in Hampden and Middlesex Counties at later dates. Song will be arraigned in all three courts at later dates.
Li allegedly trafficked women between New York and her businesses in Northampton and Agawam. Li will be arraigned in Hampshire Superior Court tomorrow and will also be arraigned in Hampden Superior Court at a later date.
These charges are the result of a months-long joint investigation by the AG’s Office, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office Anti-Crime Task Force, and the Northampton Police Department, with the assistance of various other local and federal law enforcement agencies, including agencies in New York.
During the course of the investigation, authorities developed evidence indicating that Li and Liu were the leaders of criminal operations, running profitable and organized criminal enterprises through “massage parlors” that had been set up as fronts for human trafficking.
The investigation revealed that Liu, with help from Song and Yin, allegedly operated Hadley Massage Therapy in Hadley, Feng Health Center in East Longmeadow and Massage Body Work in Framingham. Authorities also developed evidence that Li was running a similar operation at her businesses, Pine Spa in Northampton and Agawam Massage Therapy in Agawam.
Through these businesses, Li and Liu’s employees performed sexual services for a fee. Authorities allege that the defendants typically received the majority of the profits from these sexual encounters. Ten victims were identified during the investigation and authorities recovered a significant amount of cash during the execution of search warrants. The monies recovered from the businesses were allegedly used to fund expensive jewelry, automobiles, bank accounts, and travel for the defendants.
The victims often lived in the businesses and depended on Li, Liu, Song, and Yin for transportation, groceries and other supplies. The defendantsallegedly recruited women, advertised sexual services online, set up appointments for sexual encounters, and arranged for transportation for the women.
These charges are allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
AG Healey has a dedicated Human Trafficking Division that focuses on policy, prevention and prosecution and includes a team of specialized prosecutors, victim advocates and Massachusetts State Police troopers who handle high impact, multi-jurisdictional human trafficking investigations and prosecutions across the state. Through the Human Trafficking Division, the AG’s Office has charged more than 30 individuals in connection with human trafficking since the law went into effect in 2012.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bourgeois, of AG Healey’s Human Trafficking Division, Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Vasiliades, of the AG’s Western Massachusetts Office and Criminal Bureau and Special Assistant Attorney General Jeremey Bucci,Chief Trial Counsel of the Northwestern DA’s Office, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab, Senior Financial Investigator Eugene Griffin and Victim Witness Advocate Rebecca Auld, Director of the AG’s Victim Services Division.