Chino Hills – A chino Hills woman pled guilty to racketeering and aiding and abetting four other suspects for sex trafficking. The charges could result in up to 12 years in federal prison. Although the trafficking was out of state, Ms. Nava ran the business from her Chino Hills home in the 15500 block of Rhyolite Court in Chino Hills, prosecutors said.
Sophia Wang Navas, 50, pled guilty at a Washington County District courtroom in the state of Minnesota. The guilty plea gives up her right to trial and she will be sentenced in October of this year.
Navas was the last of four suspects charged by federal prosecutors after investigators surveilled and arrested the sex-trafficking ring that took place for over two years. They were arrested in 2017 at a Minnesota massage parlor, several private homes, and hotels.
The defendants posted over 20,000 ads fir sexual services on the now federally shut down backpage.com website. The site was shut down last year by the FBI for sex trafficking and for child exploitation, court documents disclosed.
For this particular case women from 32 years old to 45 years old reported to investigators that they were required to earn a minimum of $800 per day, which went towards their housing and food, or they faced being fired and evicted, court documents stated.
The majority of the women were Korean and Chinese nationals working in St. Paul, Blaine, Maplewood, St. Louis Park, Oakdale, College Grove, and Minneapolis in Minnesota.
Other defendants were sentenced earlier this year. Hong Jing, of Irvine, has been sentenced to 8½ years in prison and Fangyao Wu, also of Irvine, was given 20 years’ probation for their roles in the operation. A third person, Dongzhu Jiang, of Minnesota, will be sentenced later this month.
Ms. Navas was allegedly considered the ring leader who was responsible for recruiting and sending women to Minnesota for the prostitution, court records show.