A prostitution case in Albany involving two massage parlors is connected to an ongoing FBI investigation into human trafficking, said Lindy Kalodimos, Linn County deputy district attorney.
Xihui Huang, who operates Oasis Massage & Spa, 2284 Pacific Blvd. SE, and Rose Massage, 917 Ninth Ave. SE, was charged with promoting prostitution, conspiracy to commit promoting prostitution, laundering a monetary instrument and racketeering in Linn County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon.
Huang, who needed a Mandarin interpreter, pleaded not guilty to all of the charges through her attorney, Matthew Watkins.
She was arrested on Thursday, after the Albany Police Department and several other agencies executed search warrants on the massage parlors.
Four people were cited for practicing massage without a license, as well. Those individuals are not co-defendant’s of Huang, however, Kalodimos said.
According to an APD news release, authorities received information about illegal activity taking place at Oasis Massage & Spa in late January.
The investigation led to the discovery of a criminal enterprise involving several businesses and multiple individuals extending beyond the two Albany locations.
The charging document states that the crimes occurred between Dec. 1 and Thursday, and that there were at least six known incidents of Huang promoting prostitution and owning or operating a place of prostitution or prostitution enterprise.
During Friday’s teleconference hearing with the Linn County Jail, Kalodimos asked for $1 million bail.
“This is a unique situation regarding serious offenses in our community,” she said.
She said that Huang has connections to businesses in California in Arizona, out-of-state contacts, and contacts in countries that don’t have extradition agreements with the United States.
“The allegations involving the client involve large sums of money being funneled through various financial institutions,” Kalodimos added.
Other businesses associated with Huang have been under investigation and simply closed down, she said.
The prosecution also requested that Huang surrender her passport, if she hadn’t already done so.
Watkins asked for a conditional release from jail for his client. He said that her immigration status depends on the successful resolution of the case and that she had invested $30,000 of her own money into her business.
He added that she had no failures to appear in court and no criminal history.
Judge David Delsman set Huang’s security at $200,000. Watkins replied that he didn’t think his client would be able to post the 10 percent bail deposit.
The next hearing in the case was scheduled for April 29 at 8:30 a.m.
Charged with practicing massage without a license were Bao Living, 40, Wang Lihong, 50, Zhou Living, 50, and Liu Zhiying, 52.
The Albany Police Department was assisted by the FBI, Department of Justice, Oregon Board of Massage Therapists, Homeland Security Investigations, Sherwood Police Department, Oregon State Police, Linn County Sheriff’s Office and the Linn County District Attorney’s Office.
Those with additional information pertaining to this investigation are asked to call the Albany Police Department, 541-917-7680.