The last of four criminals who trafficked women across the country and in the east metro was sentenced to about 13 years in prison for her role in the crime.
Sophia Navas was given a 150-month prison term Thursday in Washington County District Court for her role as part of the “operational control center” for the ring.
Authorities say Navas was one of three Irvine, Cal. residents, including Hong Jing and Fangyao Wu, who comprised the leadership of a ring that brutalized women. The fourth suspect was a man from Blaine, Minn. — Dong Zhou Jiang.
Authorities said the criminals trafficked vulnerable Chinese and Korean nationals who were shuttled across the country to avoid detection, and who were expected to earn $800 a day having sex with men.
“This brings to a close a significant joint effort between the Ramsey and Washington County Attorney’s Offices to curtail the trafficking of human beings in our region,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a written statement. “The victims in this case were especially vulnerable, as they were trapped in a foreign country where they barely spoke the language and sold for sex.”
The cases were jointly handled by the Ramsey and Washington county attorneys offices.
According to a news release from the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office: Navas agreed to forfeit the proceeds from her crimes, and was ordered to pay a fine of $7,500. She must also pay $1,000 prostitution assessment.
Navas pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one count each of racketeering and aiding and abetting second-degree sex trafficking.
Wu was sentenced earlier this year to a stayed term of three years, and received 20 years’ probation on one count of racketeering.
Jing was sentenced in February to 8 1/2 years in prison for one count each of racketeering and aiding and abetting second-degree sex trafficking.
Jiang was sentenced in August to about four years in prison to one count each of racketeering and aiding and abetting second-degree sex trafficking.
“The leaders of this enterprise recruited, solicited and sold human beings for profit,” said assistant Washington County Attorney Imran Ali. “This sentence helps provide justice to the victims that fell prey to this heinous enterprise.”
In Hennepin County, Brendian Kewon Daniels was sentenced Friday to more than 23 years for trafficking two 15-year-old girls in an unrelated case.