|For Immediate Release
Case # 07NF1022
October 9, 2007
Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
PROSTITUTION RING LEADER SENTENCED
TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON FOR PIMPING
*Two additional defendants have pleaded guilty and been sentenced
FULLERTON – The ring leader of a prostitution ring that operated out of 10 brothels in five cities throughout Orange County and the Inland Empire was sentenced today to three years in state prison. Jian Shi, 50, Montebello, pleaded guilty to one felony count of pimping. Shi was the leader of an enterprise in which Chinese national prostitutes were pimped from business locations that were advertised as “massage parlors” and “acupuncture clinics.” The Anaheim Police Department, Orange County District Attorney’s Office, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted a 3-year joint investigation, resulting in the largest Orange County bust of brothels being run by the same defendants.
Hong Jun Bai, 43, Rowland Heights, pleaded guilty September 10, 2007 to one felony count of selling a person for illicit use and was sentenced to 16 months in state prison. Guo Hua Chen, 56, Monterey Park, pleaded guilty on September 10, 2007 to one felony count of conspiracy to commit the crime of pimping and was sentenced to six months in jail. Shi, Bai, and Chen, are facing ICE deportation proceedings following the service of their sentences.
John Couch, 46, and his wife Yu Mei Cheng-Couch, 39, both of San Clemente, are charged with one felony count each of conspiring to commit the crime of pimping and one misdemeanor count each of keeping a house of ill fame. John Couch is also charged with a felony for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Couch and Cheng-Couch both face a maximum sentence of six years in prison if convicted. Xueyan Yu, 49, Huntington Beach, is also charged with keeping a house of ill fame. Yu faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail if convicted. Couch, Cheng-Couch, and Yu are scheduled for pre-trial on November 27, 2007 in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
Between April 10, 2004 and March 14, 2007, defendants Shi, Bai, and Chen, worked together to pimp Chinese prostitutes out of ten brothels, primarily in Orange County. Couch and Cheng-Couch are accused of participating in the conspiracy. Shi, the primary leader of the pimping and prostitution ring, owned or operated the numerous brothels over the course of three years for various lengths of time.