Arizona DHS Agents Allegedly Paid for Sex With Trafficking Victims

Illustration for article titled Arizona DHS Agents Allegedly Paid for Sex With Trafficking Victims
Photo: Paul J. Richards (Getty Images)

In September 2018, a group of agents from the Department of Homeland Security announced that they had successfully broken up a ring of illegal massage parlors that targeted Asian immigrants and forced them into sex slavery. One of the key things they forgot to add, though, was that two of their agents had allegedly paid for sex with the victims. Just a minor detail, really.


The Daily Beast reports that over the course of the two-year, $15,000 investigation, two DHS agents allegedly engaged in sex acts with the trafficking victims at least 10 times. The sting started in 2016 when local police received reports about unusual activity at numerous massage parlors across Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City. In April 2018, the police departments determined that some of the employees may have been victims for human trafficking and called the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for help.

This resulted in “Operation Asian Touch” being formed. Which, I mean, come on now. Two undercover agents, referred to as “Arturo” and “Sergio,” were sent to investigate the parlors. This investigation included allegedly haggling with masseuses to expose themselves and give them hand jobs. They reported such valuable information like “The female was very skinny with small breasts,” and “Any time the female would say anything she would get really close and whisper.” Information that is thorough, insightful and clearly invaluable to the investigation.

The revelation that the DHS officers had allegedly paid for sex has resulted in them refusing to testify in the courts. As a result, the charges against alleged ringleader Amanda Yamauchi and her partner have been dropped. The investigation, which took almost 200 hours. has resulted in just three convictions—one for prostitution, one for soliciting a prostitute and another for attempted pandering. For contrast, the initial raid had eight people arrested on charges of sex trafficking, money laundering and operating a house of prostitution.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.


Old white guy

What? People in power using that to their own benefits, without regard to their actual job or what they were there for? Shocked!

The daily beaast also reported “ that DHS had conducted its own internal investigation into the agents’ activities but did not reveal the outcome.”

Yeah, I’m guessing administrative leave. For a week.