Two charged with operating Mass. sex ring that catered to prominent clients to remain behind bars

WORCESTER, Mass. — A man and woman charged with operating a commercial sex ring that catered to wealthy and prominent clients in Massachusetts and the suburbs of Washington D.C. will remain behind bars for now, a judge said on Wednesday.

Junmyung Lee, of Dedham, and Han Lee, of Cambridge, will continue to be held after agreeing to voluntary orders of detention during their hearing in federal court in Worcester in connection with the recent dismantling of the high-end brothel network. Both Han and Junmyung returned to the custody of USMS.

The pair made an initial court appearance earlier this month when they waived their right to a preliminary hearing.

In an affidavit filed in support of keeping the pair behind bars, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Zachary Mitlisky wrote, “I believe that Han and Junmyung pose a risk of flight and should be detained pending trial. I believe this based upon, among other things, the strength of the case and evidence against them, the nature of the offense and corresponding elements of deceit, their financial resources (both known and unknown), their lack of genuine ties to the community, their inability to work and support themselves due to their immigration statuses, and the potential penalties they face upon conviction.”

Junmyung and Han were arrested in early November after federal investigators busted brothels at luxury apartments in Watertown and Cambridge, as well as Tysons and Fairfax, Virginia. Acting Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Josh Levy said the brothels, which were promoted on Bostontop10.com and BrowneyesgirlVA.blog, brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the operators.

The websites listed the height, weight, and bust size of women available for appointments and depicted nude and semi-nude photographs of each, Levy noted. The women were also listed as available on the websites and were updated frequently to include “coming soon” or “open” to reflect the impending arrival of new women arriving in the area.

“These three individuals made hundreds of thousands of dollars running this ring,” Levy said during a news conference that was held to announce the arrests. “This case goes back to the summer of 2020 when investigators identified several buyers.”

Those who purchased sex services included politicians, pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors who possess security clearances, professors, lawyers, business executives, technology company executives, scientists, accountants, retail employees, and students, according to Levy.

“Pick a profession. They’re probably represented in this case,” Levy said. “They are the men who fueled this commercial sex ring.”

None of the clients have been charged, and authorities have not publicly named any of them. Investigators said that there are “potentially hundreds of yet-to-be-identified customers.”

At the time of the news conference, Levy stressed that the investigation is in the early stages and said that prosecutors are committed to holding accountable both those who ran the scheme and those who made purchases.

Levy said buyers paid upward of $600 per hour for services and some even paid a monthly membership fee to be pre-cleared for sex in a process similar to TSA PreCheck.

In the detention filing, Mitlisky alleged that Han was the “leader and organizer” of the interstate prostitution network.

“In that capacity, among other things, Han communicated with and recruited women to travel interstate and engage in commercial sex for cash in Boston and eastern Virginia,” Mitlisky wrote in the detention filing. “She maintained the websites and business records associated with her organization, she maintained the brothel units (both in Massachusetts and in her regular travels to Virginia) and has been seen picking up and dropping off females, dropping off supplies, paying for the rent and utilities, and entering and exiting the units regularly. She concealed over one million dollars in prostitution proceeds.”

During the execution of the search warrants at the six different brothel locations -- four in Massachusetts and two in Virginia -- investigators said they recovered “multiple” Asian women who were assigned stage names and advertised for commercial sex.

According to Mitlisky, a search of Han’s apartment ended with the seizure of bulk quantities of condoms stored in bags and cardboard boxes, boxes of bulk-purchased lubricants, lingerie, UTI testing kits, pregnancy testing kits, mouthwash, fake eyelashes, over $22,000 in cash, ledgers, multiple cell phones, dozens of gifts cards, laptop computers and thumb drives, three sets of keys containing eight keys and seven key fobs, financial records, various bills and documents, and receipts of money orders.

“Han maintained ledgers detailing the daily activity of her brothels. At the time of the search warrant execution, one such ledger was open to a page showing the stage names, appointment dates, times, and earnings of the women, specifically ‘Tina’ and ‘Yoko DDD,’ who were then-listed on the Virginia brothel website,” Mitlisky wrote. “Simply stated – I do not believe that Han has legitimate employment but I do believe she has made an astounding amount of money running her prostitution business over the last several years.”

Mitlisky said investigators also identified two active checking accounts held in Han’s name at Bank of America, and that records for the accounts were reviewed from December 2019 through October 2023, during which time about $965,000 was deposited into the two accounts.

A third person charged in the case, James Lee, was arrested in California and has yet to appear in court in Massachusetts.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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