SAN FRANCISCO -- Two women allegedly running a sex trafficking ring in San Francisco were arrested Monday, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
The two San Francisco women, Qiao "Judy" He, 37, and her sister Gaineng He, 36, were arrested following a five-month joint investigation with the state Attorney General's Office, San Francisco police and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
The women were initially investigated in January when the state Attorney General's Office's Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force, or TRaCE, looked into alleged sex trafficking out of San Francisco's Richmond and Sunset districts.
During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that "johns" were allegedly paying as much as to $200 to have sex with young Asian women at local brothels.
According to the state Attorney General's Office, undercover agents were told "new girls" were brought in every Sunday.
On May 7, search warrants were executed at four locations in the city including 385 Seventh Ave. and 4719 Geary Blvd., Unit No. 601 in the Richmond District and 2094 and 1511 24th Ave. in the Sunset District.
The TRaCE Task Force, created at the start of the year, includes members of the FBI, state Franchise Tax Board, state Board of Equalization, state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and other agencies.
In a statement Monday, state Attorney General Kamala Harris said, "The victims in these brothels were treated as commodities in an insidious human marketplace. Human trafficking is a heinous crime that destroys the lives of victims and threatens the safety of our communities."
Both women were arrested on suspicion of felony pimping and pandering, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
Both are being held at San Francisco County Jail on $25,000 bail.
The case is being handled by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors have indicated they will charge the case, with specific charges to be announced later this week. The state Attorney General's Office is still investigating potential tax fraud and conspiracy allegations.
Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, re-transmission or reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.