SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Two women were arrested Monday on sex trafficking charges following a five-month investigation into their activities at several locations throughout San Francisco.
Defendants Qiao He, a.k.a. “Judy,” 37, and her sister Gaineng He, 36, both of San Francisco, were arrested and charged with felony pimping and pandering. They are both being held at the San Francisco County Jail on $25,000 bail each and will be prosecuted by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
The Attorney General’s Office is still investigating potential tax fraud and conspiracy violations.
“I want to recognize the steadfast commitment of our Task Force agents, law enforcement partners, and community organizations to bring perpetrators to justice and help rebuild these victims’ lives,” Harris said.
In January 2014, the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force of the California Attorney General’s Office initiated an investigation of an alleged sex trafficking ring in San Francisco’s Richmond District operated by sisters Qiao He and Gaineng He, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
Over a period of several months, TRaCE’s investigation revealed that “Johns” allegedly paid as much as $200 for sexual intercourse with their choice of one of several young Asian women in the brothels. During the investigation, the defendants repeatedly told undercover agents that “new girls” were brought in every Sunday, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
“The victims in these brothels were treated as commodities in an insidious human marketplace ,” Attorney General Harris said. “Human trafficking is a heinous crime that destroys the lives of victims and threatens the safety of our communities.”
On May 7, agents with the California Department of Justice, HSI and SFPD executed search warrants on four San Francisco locations, including 385 7th Avenue, 4719 Geary Boulevard #601, 2094 24th Avenue, and 1511 24th Avenue.
The arrests are the result of a joint investigation by the California Attorney General’s Office, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Attorney General’s Office said.
In 2012, Attorney General Harris released a report, The State of Human Trafficking in California, which outlined the growing prevalence of the crime of human trafficking in the state.
The report describes the evolving challenges California faces in addressing this crime, which has become a $32 billion-a-year global industry.
(Copyright 2014, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)