Boston woman charged in connection with human trafficking operation

BOSTON (WHDH) - A Boston woman was charged Wednesday in connection with a large-scale human trafficking operation in Boston and the Greater Boston area, officials say.

Dan T. Zheng, 47, of Boston, was arrested 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, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, Malden Chief of Police Kevin Molis, and FBI Boston Division Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw.

Six female victims were also located, officials say.

In June 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, officials say.

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, according to police.

Police say Zheng was also allegedly paying the massage therapists a minimal fee and keeping the rest of the money for the services they performed.

“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,” Ryan said. “I am grateful to the local, state and federal investigators who have worked diligently on this case for months.”

Zheng is expected to be arraigned Thursday in Cambridge District Court.

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