Bay Area madam turns herself in after running prostitution ring

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A madam who ran a number of Bay Area brothels finally turned herself in, but she may not face any jail time.

Police in Hayward finally arrested the madam who ran a Bay Area prostitution ring, after she turned herself in Tuesday. Wen Yen "Maple" Gold had girls working out of high-price apartments, however, the interesting part of this case is that she probably won't go to jail.

Despite all the things that police think she did, after four years on the run, she quietly turned herself in at the Hayward Hall of Justice. For some of that time she was in Southern California, out of the country, and completely off the grid for a time. What investigators are most interested in is the valuable information on how these clandestine rings actually operate.

After four years of evading police, the 44-year-old woman finally turned herself in, accused of running a series of brothels all over the Bay Area for many years.

"There's a lot of money to be made in this industry. You can pay up to $300 an hour with one of the prostitutes. A good-running brothel, with a good clientele, operating between 10 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week, 365 days a year is going to probably do about $25,000 a month," Hayward Police Sgt. Ryan Cantrell said.

In Concord, police say Gold had a girl working in the high-priced Park Central apartments servicing Johns just half a block from the Concord Police Department. In Downtown Oakland, according to investigators, two girls worked at Gold's direction out of the 288 Third apartments -- another expensive apartment complex. In Hayward, a home served as a brothel just a few steps from a popular downtown casino on Mission Boulevard.

"I have never met one of these girls, or interviewed one, that says they got into this business on their own free will," Cantrell said.

Police say Gold would lure women in from Asian countries -- primarily from Taiwan and China -- with the false promise of legitimate work in America.

Casey Bates is the head of the Human Exploitation and Trafficking unit, or HEAT, for the Alameda County district attorney's office. He told ABC7 News, "In this case, we had women that were brought from other parts of the world, Asia in particular, and forced to work in these establishments. But, we also see that a large number of people that are working in the sex-trafficking industry are actually our kids."

As part of a plea deal, Gold will likely not serve any jail time, but will provide extensive information about how these operations work and how they can be stopped.

"That industry is behind closed doors. Because, unlike our historic experience with sex trafficking, you know, young girls on the streets walking up and down the streets where you could easily identify them, it's all done on computers," Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, said.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

Book -- Modern Slavery: Investigating Trafficking (The Detective's Guide)
Related Topics:
Human Traffickingprostitutionviolence against womeninternet sex crimessex crimesinternetarrestHayward
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