Prosecutors: Human traffickers sold women for sex in our region
A human trafficking and prostitution investigation reaches across northern New England into Vermont.
The La Quinta Inn in South Burlington is one of two hotels in Vermont and dozens across three states where federal authorities say Chinese women were forced to meet men for sex.
Two Chinese citizens, Shou Chao Li, 37, and Derong Miao, 37, who live in Concord, New Hampshire, are accused of running a prostitution ring in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
According to court documents, the married couple used social media to recruit an unknown number of Chinese women, allegedly helping them obtain U.S. visas and flying them from China to airports across the U.S. The couple allegedly promised the women, who spoke little to no English, hundreds of dollars a day, and then advertised sex with them on BackPage.com.
With help from others, Miao and Li allegedly transported the women to hotels across northern New England, including the La Quinta Inn in South Burlington and a Quality Inn in Colchester, giving them food, clothes and room keys. The majority of hotels used for the prostitution are in Maine and New Hampshire.
Miao and Li face several felonies, including sex trafficking.
We are still going through these court documents and will keep you up to date on them.