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A federal grand jury has charged a San Gabriel woman with sex trafficking five immigrant women by hiring them to work at massage parlors, forcing them to engage in commercial sex acts and threatening them, officials said Tuesday.

Mei Xing, 59, aka “Xing Mei,” “Anna,” and “Boss,” is charged with five counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion, the Department of Justice announced in a news release. Xing was previously indicted on June 12 on one count of sex trafficking, but on Tuesday, the superseding indictment added four additional victims. 

Prosecutors said Xing ran a sex trafficking operation that targeted immigrant women from July 2016 to October 2018, as well as owned and operated several massage parlors in El Monte and South El Monte.

Court documents state the victims told authorities Xing “pressured them into performing commercial sex acts at the massage parlors.” She is also accused of coercing her victims by all manner of threats, including threatening to report their prostitution to police, threatening to expose their immigration status and implicitly threatening to have them murdered, officials reported.

“Xing allegedly told the victims she could make good on her threats because of her relationships with the government, the police, and the criminal underworld,” court documents show.

Xing has been in federal custody since her arrest in April. Her arraignment is expected to be scheduled in the coming weeks, officials said.

If convicted as charged, she faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison for each count, and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.