Wednesday, April 2, 2003
Multi-Agency Task Force Cracks Down On Prostitution Ring
Los Angeles: On Tuesday, April 1, 2003, Los Angeles Police Department Organized Crime and Vice Division (OCVD) detectives coordinated the execution of multiple search warrants in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. This was the result of a one-year investigation into an organized prostitution ring that was operating in Southern California. Agencies taking part in the investigation included the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Huntington Beach Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department, City of Orange Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Torrance Police Department, Redondo Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department. Four suspects involved in running a prostitution ring in Los Angeles and Orange Counties were arrested by the Los Angeles Department.
The investigation began in April 2002 after the Huntington Beach Police Department discovered an in-call prostitution service that was operating out of residential apartments in Huntington Beach. During the service of a subsequent search warrant, Huntington Beach Police Department detectives recovered evidence revealing additional houses of prostitution elsewhere in Orange County as well as in the City and County of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Police Department OCVD detectives spearheaded an extensive investigation into this highly sophisticated prostitution organization. Undercover detectives from Orange and Los Angeles County police agencies worked in concert conducting numerous undercover operations during the course of this investigation. The criminal ringleaders employed Chinese women as prostitutes in medical offices and private residences throughout Southern California. Organized Crime and Vice Division Prostitution Section detectives obtained a search warrant for a total of ten business and residence locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties involved in this criminal enterprise. Locations searched were in Sherman Oaks, Santa Clarita, Westchester, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Altadena and Irvine.
On April 1, 2003, OCVD detectives arrested four suspects for 266 (h) P.C., Pimping. Qiong Feng Chou, 52, Kit Poon, 32, and Trisni Tedjasutisno, 30, were arrested at or near a residence in Irvine and James Konakowitz, 45, at a business in Santa Clarita. Four women were arrested for 647 (b) P.C., Prostitution, by undercover vice detectives in the cities of Los Angeles, Torrance and Redondo Beach. $25,000 in cash was recovered from the suspects and from inside the residence at the Irvine location.
Simultaneously, the Huntington Beach Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department each served their own search warrants in Huntington Beach and Aliso Viejo, respectively. Huntington Beach Police Department arrested one female for prostitution and 13 male customers for soliciting undercover female Huntington Beach Police detectives at a medical office run by the prostitution organization. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Irvine Police Department arrested three women for prostitution at residences in Irvine and Aliso Viejo. In total, 25 suspects were arrested as a result of this inter-agency team effort.
For further information contact Lieutenant Randy Litton of OCVD at 213-473-7633.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.