TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Bridgeville spa arrests trigger look into human trafficking

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

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 mhasch@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Duquesne University to raise minimum wage floor
  2. Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto in Cuba on manufacturing trade mission
  3. Plum schools, dealing with sex scandal, to form panel in June
  4. Air rifle incidents on the rise, experts say
  5. Newsmaker: Joelle L. Smith
  6. Land eyed for trail connectors to expand Harrison Hills Park
  7. CMU, Pittsburgh’s Surtrac program aims to ease traffic congestion
  8. Mt. Lebanon police chief to retire, replacement selected
  9. Penn Hills votes to sell, lease vacant school space
  10. Lawsuit filed against PWSA for inaccurate billing from radio-controlled meter readers
  11. Former executive says Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority fired her for reporting overbilling