Boston Woman Charged in Connection with Multi-Location Human Trafficking Operation

BOSTON – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, Malden Chief of Police Kevin Molis and FBI Boston Division Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw have announced that a Boston woman has been arrested and charged in connection with operating a large-scale human trafficking operation in Boston and the Greater Boston area.

Dan T. Zheng, 47 of Boston was arrested today on Harrison Avenue in Boston and charged with trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, deriving support from prostitution and procuring support for prostitution in connection with allegedly offering sexual services for a fee at four massage parlors located in Stoneham, Arlington, Dracut and Boston that she owns and operates. Six female victims were also located.

In June of 2018, members of the FBI Boston Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force and Malden Police Detectives began conducting undercover surveillance on the four massage parlors allegedly being operated by Zheng. Over the course of their investigation police learned that male clients were allegedly being offered, and accepting additional services of a sexual nature following their scheduled massage for an additional fee. Investigators subsequently learned that Zheng was allegedly the person in charge of the day-to-day operations of the massage parlors and that, as part of running the business, she schedules appointments and has transported employees from Boston to the massage parlors for work. Zheng was also allegedly paying the massage therapists a minimal fee and keeping the rest of the money for the services they performed.

“This case represents the result of a well-coordinated and collaborative investigation,” said District Attorney Ryan. “The defendant in this case was allegedly using businesses in four communities as a front to provide illegal sexual services for a fee while exploiting the women who were employed by her in the process. I am grateful to the local, state and federal investigators who have worked diligently on this case for months.”

“Motivated by profit, Ms. Zheng ran an extensive criminal operation taking advantage of the vulnerable young women who worked for her by selling them for sex,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Human trafficking is a crime that happens all around us, often in plain sight, impacting the safety of our neighborhoods and our quality of life. When human beings are treated as commodities, they are not only being abused physically, but emotionally and financially. The FBI Boston Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Task Force will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners at every level—in an effort to disrupt and dismantle organizations responsible for this illegal activity.”

Today as part of this joint investigation, search warrants were executed at Lisa Massage Therapy in Arlington, Sunflowers Spa in Dracut, Sunshine Spa & Massage in Stoneham, Rose Health Spa in Boston and a residence on Maple Street in Boston.
Zheng was arrested by Boston Police and transported to the Arlington Police Station for booking. She is expected to be arraigned tomorrow in Cambridge District Court.
This investigation is being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the FBI Boston Division’s Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force and the Malden Police Department with assistance from the Stoneham Police Department, Arlington Police Department, Dracut Police Department, Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police.
The FBI Boston Division’s Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force is one of 12 DOJ-funded task forces in the country with the mission to combat sex and labor trafficking. Nationally, the FBI participates in over 100 human trafficking task forces and working groups. The FBI believes in a victim-centered approach to human trafficking investigations, where identifying and stabilizing victims of this heinous crime is equally as important as providing resources to help them.
These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The prosecutors assigned to this case are Middlesex County Assistant District Attorneys Carrie Spiros and Julie Kunkle and Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Allyson Portney.

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