6 people arrested for reportedly running human trafficking, prostitution ring

Feb 5, 2021, 3:00 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:57 pm

human trafficking...

(The exterior of the Little Rainbow Massage Parlor in Orem. The "Open" sign was still on as it was being raided. Credit: Paul Nelson)

(The exterior of the Little Rainbow Massage Parlor in Orem. The "Open" sign was still on as it was being raided. Credit: Paul Nelson)

AMERICAN FORK, Utah – An alleged prostitution and human trafficking ring is broken in Utah County. Police raided four massage parlors and arrested six people after workers reportedly offered sexual favors for money.

Police say the investigation started in September after they received an anonymous tip about Sunflower Massage in American Fork. Arrest records say the tipster was able to find the parlor on online maps that list massage parlors that offer sexual favors. 

They state the masseuse will touch people inappropriately and if the customer doesn’t complain, the woman will offer to do more.

American Fork Police Lieutenant Josh Christensen said they sent undercover officers to the parlor shortly after that complaint.

“They stopped several customers leaving the store and did interviews with them,” Christensen said. “They were able to determine that there was, indeed, prostitution type activities going on.”

After searching deeper into business licenses, officers learned Sunflower Massage was connected to Magic Massage in American Fork along with Small Rainbow and Relax Wood in Orem.  Christensen said they partnered with other police agencies to investigate, and undercover officers were sent to those parlors.  He said their investigators were all asked if they wanted more than just a simple massage.

“Obviously, the officers stopped it at that point, but, in each case, the officer was solicited to participate in a prostitution-type of activity,” he said.

(Top, left to right… Joseph Ferreri, Xiao Ling Wang, Ju Ying Wang. Bottom, left to right… Yan Tomney, Jun Yan Li, Yue Ming. Credit: Utah County Jail)

All four parlors were raided on Thursday, and six people were taken into custody.  They include: 

  • Wang, Ju Ying for two counts of prostitution and one count of pattern of unlawful activity.
  • Li, Jun Yan for two counts prostitution, one count of human trafficking, aiding prostitution and pattern of unlawful activity.
  • Ming, Yue for one count prostitution, money laundering, pattern of unlawful activity and unlawful conduct.
  • Wang, Xiao Ling for one count prostitution, human trafficking, money laundering, aiding prostitution and pattern of unlawful activity.
  • Tomney, Yan for one count prostitution, money laundering, unlawful conduct and pattern of unlawful activity.

Along with the four massage parlors, police also searched a home in Lindon.

One man, Joseph Ferreri, was booked for aiding prostitution and pattern of unlawful activity.  Police believe he drove the women back and forth between the Lindon home and the businesses even though the women were rarely allowed to leave the parlors.

“The majority of individuals involved in this type this activity lived on site at the parlor,” Christensen said. “Or they were transported back and forth to one single residence.”

During their raids, police found one woman who they believe is a victim of trafficking and was afraid to reach out for help. Christensen said she was taken to get the help she needs.

“She was brought from another country to here,” he said. “She didn’t know where she was.  She doesn’t know anybody and she doesn’t speak our language but was, basically, told to work.”

Arrest records report many of the women who work at parlors like this are essentially trapped into doing it. The operators reportedly threaten to tell their families back home what they’re doing if they ever stop soliciting sexual favors from their clients. 

Christensen also said these parlors are harder to investigate than they appear to be, since the managers frequently change the names of their businesses to apply for different licenses.  That’s a common tactic for criminal organizations.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

Highland High school students arrested...

Devin Oldroyd

Two high school students arrested after allegedly bringing firearms on Highland High campus

Salt Lake City Police Department's school resource officers arrested three high school students after recovering two loaded firearms Monday.

18 hours ago

The Utah State Bureau of Investigation and the Utah Highway Patrol are investigating after witnesse...

Simone Seikaly

Witnesses report motorcycle passenger firing at silver car on NB I-15

Witnesses reported seeing someone on a black Harley Davidson motorcycle firing rounds from a firearm at a silver passenger car.

18 hours ago

A partial gag order issued in the case of Kouri Richins was welcomed by the family, a Richins famil...

Hugo Rikard-Bell

Kouri Richins family satisfied with partial gag order issued in case, says spokesman

A Third District Judge issued a partial gag order due to the popularity and interest in the Richins case.

18 hours ago

A truck involved in a road rage spat with another vehicle, crashed into this Porsche killing both o...


Two people killed in road rage crash near Eagle Mountain are identified

A man and a woman from Salt Lake County were killed in the wreck near Eagle Mountain in an alleged incident of road rage.

18 hours ago

gunlock falls is pictured...

Devin Oldroyd

Man nearly drowns at Gunlock Falls

A middle-aged man nearly drowned Sunday at Gunlock Falls. According to police, as far as they know he is still alive.

2 days ago

India train crash...

Kunal Sehgal, Ivan Watson, Ajay Bedi and Deepak Rao, CNN

‘We thought it was an earthquake’: Probe into deadly train crash focuses on signal failure, as rescue efforts end

Authorities investigating one of the deadliest train crashes in India’s history were examining whether a signal failure led to the disaster.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

6 people arrested for reportedly running human trafficking, prostitution ring