Bridgeville spa arrests trigger look into human trafficking
Authorities are trying to determine who is behind a prostitution ring they say was operating in a spa in downtown Bridgeville until it was raided on Tuesday.
Three women were arrested as a result of a 14-month investigation into activities at the 88 Spa on Washington Avenue, Bridgeville police Chief Chad King said.
“We're trying to determine if these women were taken by human traffickers and forced into the business,” King said. “If that's the case, we're trying to determine who organized the ring and if it is being run by organized crime.”
The women — Ok Ja Ko, 52; Chong Hee Kil, 57, and Heemae Jeong, 58 — are charged with prostitution and conspiracy. Kil also is charged with promoting prostitution.
King said his officers began getting complaints about the spa two months after it opened and had enough evidence this summer to turn the case over to the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Shortly before noon, officers from local departments and the FBI Southwestern Pennsylvania Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition Task Force went to the spa and an undercover detective requested a sexual encounter with two women, the complaint states.
When the women — who King said lived in the spa which was accessible only by a doorway in the alley — arrived in the room, other agents moved in and made the arrests.
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2014 has been among deadliest for the world’s airline industry
- Residents, search panel refine sketch of Pittsburgh police chief
- Pittsburgh police officers reprimanded in Banksville restaurant robbery
- Kaufman Foundation awards research grants to schools, including Pitt, CMU
- Newsmaker: Charles H. “Chip” Dougherty Jr.
- $24M water filter project at Aspinwall treatment plant nears kickoff
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- Shenango asks judge to dismiss suit by environmental group
- Transplant patients in limbo over coverage under UPMC-Highmark pact
- Newsmaker: Mary Jo Slater
- N.Y. building shows how modular design stacks up as cool