LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) — A couple has been sentenced for their role in a sex trafficking conspiracy.
According to a release from the United States Attorney’s Office, John Wong, 61, and Joyce Luo, 49, of Rowland Heights, California, were sentenced in Omaha Wednesday for their role in a sex trafficking conspiracy.
The release indicated that cohabitants Wong and Luo had allegedly assisted women in traveling to Nebraska where they would engage in “commercial prostitution.”
Investigations by Homeland Security Investigations found that Wong and Luo would allegedly put advertisements on Backpage.com for “Hot Young Sexy Asian Girls.” The release stated that the advertisements were directed at people in numerous cities, and there was a phone number listed for potential clients to call and set up a date. Wong and Luo would use WeChat to communicate with the women.
The release specified that there were 5,451 advertisements posted in 44 cities that used phone numbers associated with Wong and Luo.
When a customer would contact the associated numbers, Luo would communicate with them from a “call center” in California. Luo would direct them to a hotel to engage in “commercial prostitution” with a female who would be staying there, according to the release.
The release indicated that the women would charge $160 for half an hour of time, and $200 for an hour. The women would be entitled to a portion of the payment and the rest would be deposited into a bank account associated with Wong and Luo.
“Defendants, like these, are far more concerned with lining their pockets through the sexual trafficking of vulnerable individuals, than the humane treatment of those they manipulated,” said acting Special Agent in charge of the Kansas City area of operations R. Sean Fitzgerald, “HSI and our law enforcement partners are committed to the eradication of these types of sex crimes and will continue to work to protect these at-risk populations from harm.”
The release indicated that Wong and Luo agreed to forfeit more than $2.6 million dollars in profit from the operation to the government as well as a 2015 BMW X6.
Wong and Luo were sentenced to 1 year and a day of imprisonment and must serve a three-year term of supervised release following the prison term. Wong was also fined $50,000 and Luo was fined $5,000.