“This was an investigation that included multiple law enforcement and criminal justice agencies which demonstrates the work that can be done when teams of investigators work together. There is no place for human trafficking in our society.” – Alan Barcelona, President of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA)
OAKLAND – On May 26, 2021, the California Attorney General’s Office announced the conviction and sentencing of Jing Chiang Huang for her role in an organized crime sex trafficking ring operating across California.
Initially filed on June 26, 2019 in Santa Clara County Superior Court, the Office of the Attorney General charged Huang and several defendants with a total of more than a dozen felonies that were allegedly committed between 2015 and 2019 related to sex trafficking of multiple victims, tax fraud, and money laundering. The charges were the result of multiple joint takedown operations in which Huang and several other defendants were arrested, as well as the rescue of more than a dozen suspected victims. As part of the operation, the defendants allegedly used Backpage.com to place advertisements and allegedly deprived individuals of their liberty in order to force them to commit sex acts at multiple brothel locations. The defendants also allegedly withheld at least one survivor’s passport and, as a form of coercion, threatened future job opportunities.
On Jan. 16, 2020, Huang pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit human trafficking, three counts of income tax evasion, and one count of money laundering. On May 26, 2021, she was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in state prison. Huang was also ordered to pay $557,391 in restitution to the California Franchise Tax Board.
The California Department of Justice’s case against the other defendants is ongoing.
The initial charges in this case were the result of a joint operation led by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. The operation involved the California Department of Justice, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Santa Clara Police Department, Santa Clara County Probation Department, Santa Clara County Human Trafficking Task Force, San Jose Police Department, Burlingame Police Department, Fremont Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, Milpitas Police Department, Newark Police Department, Oxnard Police Department, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, Sunnyvale Police Department, Tacoma Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and California Franchise Tax Board.
A copy of the most recent amended complaint is available here. The next court date for the other defendants is a preliminary hearing currently set for Aug. 2, 2021.