New York man sentenced for role in sex trafficking scheme

A Brooklyn, New York man was sentenced in Ramsey County Court on Monday after pleading guilty in connection with sex trafficking in January.

Yu Xin Tan, 31, was sentenced on one count of promoting prostitution to three years of supervised probation, with records showing he gets credit for 230 days already served at the Ramsey County Correctional Facility, and a mandatory anti-human trafficking course must be taken as part of his probation terms.

Tan was initially charged with one count of promoting prostitution and one count of engaging in sex trafficking in January. He pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution in August in exchange for the dismissal of the sex trafficking charge and a dispositional departure of three years of probation, according to court records.

RELATED: 3 charged with sex trafficking in the Twin Cities

In May 2022, officers from the Roseville Police Department received a tip that an apartment on the 500 block of Sandhurst Drive was being used for sex work, according to a criminal complaint. Further investigation revealed reports from people in the area of Asian women coming and going from the unit with numerous men coming to the unit for short-term visits.

The criminal complaint states that on Aug. 24, 2022, law enforcement officials stopped two men exiting the apartment unit and learned that the men had contacted an internet advertisement to buy sex and were directed to the apartment building. The men told authorities that they were met by an Asian woman who they paid $150 in cash to engage in sexual intercourse with.

Law enforcement learned the apartment unit was being rented by Jianguang Wang, a suspect in a separate human trafficking investigation from 2021. Officials from the MSP Airport Police notified law enforcement in Roseville that Wang had been seen picking up and dropping off women at the airport from July 24, 2022, to Aug. 3, 2022, the complaint states.

The complaint noted that law enforcement officials are aware that people involved with human trafficking often bring women in and out to different locations, with a large number of Asian women being trafficked through New York.

On Aug. 31, 2022, law enforcement noticed Wang enter the unit on Sandhurst Drive with another man identified as Enqiang He, the complaint said. About a week later, officials saw He escort an Asian woman carrying a suitcase into the unit on Sandhurst Drive.

Surveillance by law enforcement continued into December of 2022. During this time, officials reported Wang and He frequently traveling between three locations known to be used for sex trafficking and disposing of dozens of used condoms.

On Dec. 28, 2022, officials watched multiple men enter the Sandhurst Drive unit for “short visits.” Law enforcement officials later stopped the men, who said they found an advertisement to purchase sex work online and were told to go to the unit on Sandhurst Drive. Upon arrival, Tan escorted them to a bedroom with an Asian woman whom they paid $150 to have intercourse with, according to the complaint.

Law enforcement familiar with the case said they recognized Tan from several previous occasions in which officials were surveilling Wang and He.

On Jan. 9, 2023, law enforcement contacted the online advertisement for the purchase of sex and was told to come to a new location on the 200 block of Hoyt Avenue in St. Paul where officials observed Tan exit the unit and look around for the fraudulent buyer, the complaint states.

On Jan. 11, 2023, during the execution of a search warrant on the Hoyt Avenue location, officials found Tan with an Asian woman. The woman told law enforcement that Tan, Wang, and He took her belongings, including her passport and identification information, and were forcing her to have sex with men, according to the complaint.

Tan, Wang, and He were all taken into custody. Officials say a search of the home uncovered several items known to be used in sex trafficking.

A jury trial for Wang is set to begin November 16 while He’s jury trial will begin on December 21.