ICE sex trafficking sting leads to 7 arrests
Homeland Security officials will speak with the press this morning at the Lake Havasu City Police Department, where law enforcement representatives will provide a clearer picture of an alleged human trafficking ring in Mohave County.
Law enforcement officials have offered few details since federal agencies conducted an immigration sweep in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City last week. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement public affairs representative Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe, immigration officials worked with police departments in Havasu and Bullhead to serve search and arrest warrants at massage parlors and homes. During the course of the investigation, seven Mohave County residents were taken into custody on charges including sex trafficking, money laundering and facilitating prostitution, Pitts O’Keefe said. Lake Havasu City Police officers arrested four on Thursday, with suspects including Amanda Yamauchi, 46, Dennis R. Weber, 65, Stephen C. Hansen, 41 and Fang Fang Chen, 45.
According to arrest reports, Yamauchi, a Havasu business owner, was charged with money laundering, prostitution, putting a person in a house of prostitution, receiving the earnings of a prostitute, keeping a house of prostitution, unlawful obtainment of labor, sex trafficking by force or coercion, trafficking in forced labor and knowingly benefiting from human trafficking – all felonies.
Weber was charged with misdemeanor counts of prostitution and solicitation of a crime.
Hansen was charged with one felony count of pandering.
Chen was charged with one misdemeanor count of prostitution, and was as a result placed on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold while her legal residency status is reviewed by federal officials.
Further information is expected to be released at today’s press conference, to take place at 11 a.m.