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An investigation in Waco, Texas, led to the discovery of a Chinese sex trafficking ring in that victimized 16 Chinese women.
McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said that their Criminal Investigation Division begun investigating human trafficking in Waco in late 2016, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.
Detectives discovered a human sex trafficking operation that was bringing in women from China and sending them to various cities throughout the U.S. for prostitution.
Using Backpage.com, detective Scaramucci reportedly contacted an “Asian female escort” who was trafficked from Hong Kong to California and then to Texas where she had been staying in a Waco hotel for an extended period:
In late April, Ling Yu, 33, was arrested in New York on a first-degree felony charge of engaging in organized crime and was later indicted by a McLennan County grand jury. Hang Zheng, a Chinese citizen, was also arrested by McLennan County authorities in Austin this week on a first-degree felony charge of engaging in organized crime stemming from the investigation.
Authorities have also issued arrest warrants for Zhao Chen Shi, 33, and Xubin Zou, 27, who are also alleged to have committed human trafficking crimes from 2016 through early 2017.
So far, authorities have identified 16 women they believe were working for the suspects in Waco, Houston, Austin, New York City, Indianapolis, Washington D.C., Boston, and New Orleans.
Investigators believe that Xubin and Ling were responsible for placing escort ads on Backpage.com while Hang and Chen arranged apartments and hotel rooms for the women.
“This really has snowballed into a much bigger case than we ever could have figured,” McNamara said. “The investigation continues, and we are not going to let up.”
Hang and Ling both remained in custody in McLennan County Jail as of Friday with bond listed at $250,000.
Ryan Saavedra is a contributor for Breitbart Texas and can be found on Twitter at @RealSaavedra.