December 14, 2016 2 min to read

Human trafficking suspect arraigned in court; 2 other arraignments postponed

Category : Child Abuse, Human Trafficking

The suspects are accused of trafficking 10 victims

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) –  Four people are facing charges for allegedly running two extensive human trafficking operations in the area.

One suspect, 52-year-old Shuzi Li of West Springfield, is accused of trafficking several victims at massage parlors in Agawam and Northampton. She was ordered held on $100,000 bail during her arraignment late Wednesday morning at Northampton District Court on several charges, including:

  • Trafficking persons for sexual servitude
  • Deriving support from prostitution
  • Money laundering

The prosecution had been seeking $500,000 bail for the defendant. If Li is able to post the $100,000 bail, she would be required to surrender her passport, must submit to GPS monitoring, and will be unable to leave Massachusetts. She is due back in court on January 12.

shuzi-li
Shuzi Li (center) is surrounded by her attorney and a Mandarin language interpreter during her arraignment at Northampton District Court.

Attorney General Maura Healey told 22News Li has allegedly been trafficking the women from Flushing in Queens, New York to Pine Spa Noho in Northampton and Agawam Massage Therapy in Agawam. In court Monday, the prosecution said that Li was seen bringing women from bus stations to the spas, as well as to an apartment in West Springfield.

pine-spa-northampton
The Pine Spa Noho in Florence is among the establishments involved in the human trafficking investigation.

Li’s arrest comes after a months-long investigation. Healey said Li is accused of recruiting her victims, advertising sexual services online, and setting up appointments for the encounters. Once the appointments were booked, Healey said Li allegedly would bring the victims to the locations where sex was exchanged for money.

Two of the three other suspects, husband 48-year-old Jian Song and wife 50-year-old Feng Ling Liu of Sunderland, had been scheduled for arraignment at Eastern Hampshire District Court Wednesday, but that arraignment has been postponed to Thursday due to a lack of a Mandarin-language interpreter. In the meantime, the defendants will remain held without the right to bail.

They are facing similar charges, including:

  • Trafficking of persons for sexual servitude
  • Deriving support from prostitution
  • Money laundering
  • Conspiracy

Investigators arrested the duo and their daughter 26-year-old Ting Ting Yin of New York, for allegedly trafficking women between New Hyde Park, New York and Hadley Massage Therapy in Hadley, Feng Health Center in East Longmeadow and Massage Body Work in Framingham. They’re accused of offering sexual activity between women and buyers in exchange for money.

The daughter, Yin, was arrested in New York and has been scheduled for a rendition hearing.

Healey said Li and Liu were the leaders of two separate but similar operations, using massage parlors as fronts for human trafficking.

In a statement sent to 22News, Healey said “Human trafficking is happening right here in our communities across the state. It is a crime that victimizes vulnerable people, while traffickers profit.”

Another possible case of human trafficking in western Massachusetts is being investigated at the Feeding Hills Spa in Agawam.

Hampden County District Attorney spokesman Jim Leydon told 22News state police detectives executed a search warrant at that spa on Springfield Street Tuesday morning. The 22News I-Team found out detectives are identifying and interviewing potential victims. No arrests have been made as the investigation continues.

Feeding Hills Spa investigation of possible human trafficking

10 victims found in western Mass. human trafficking investigation

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