AP NEWS

ICE pursuing leads in Havasu trafficking case

September 28, 2018

Homeland Security investigators are still pursuing leads in an investigation that led to seven arrests last week on charges including human trafficking and prostitution.

The arrests included that of Amanda Yamauchi, the alleged ringleader in a sex-trafficking ring that spanned massage parlors throughout Lake Havasu and Bullhead Cities.

Yamauchi, 46, is now in custody at Mohave County Jail on $5 million bond. She will await trial on charges of money laundering, putting a person in a house of prostitution, sex trafficking, unlawfully obtaining labor, receiving the earnings of a prostitute, maintaining a house of prostitution, trafficking for forced labor, knowingly benefiting from human trafficking and prostitution.

Her alleged accomplice, Dean Bassett, 52, is also in custody at Mohave County Jail on $300,000 bond. He is charged with money laundering, trafficking persons for forced labor, knowingly benefiting from human trafficking, unlawfully obtaining labor, sex trafficking, putting a person in a house of prostitution and maintaining a house of prostitution.

Charges are pending against a third suspect in the case, Yuqin Shu, 56, to include money laundering, trafficking persons for forced labor, unlawfully obtaining labor, sex trafficking, placing persons in a house of prostitution, operating a house of prostitution and prostitution. As of Wednesday evening, Shu remained free from Mohave County custody.

All other suspects in connection to the alleged sex-trafficking ring were charged with misdemeanor counts of prostitution. Two men were also arrested during last Thursday’s arrests on charges of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution and felony pandering, respectively.

The arrests followed more than a year of investigation by the Lake Havasu City Police and Bullhead City Police Departments, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Undercover agents allegedly uncovered acts of prostitution in seven massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City, performed by Chinese nationals who may have been coerced into providing sexual favors in exchange for money.

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