Prostitution Charge Ignites Investigation: Suspect Detained on an Immigration and Naturalization Services Hold

-By Joseph Domelowicz

For the Transcript

Winthrop police responding to a report of a disturbance on Shore Drive late Sunday night arrested one suspect on prostitution and petty theft charges.  This arrest has led to an investigation into human trafficking and a hold order from the federal Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) department, because the suspect is a foreign national.

Yun Chai Chen, a 37-year old Chinese national, who has reportedly been living in the Malden area was taken into custody by Winthrop police and charged with furnishing a false name to police, larceny under $250 and sexual conduct for a fee, as well as two outstanding warrants from other departments.

According to the police report, responding officers interviewed the victim, who told police that the suspect had been in his home “for a date he had arranged over the phone,” and that once in his home “she had removed all her clothes,” at which time he realized she was not the woman he had arranged the date with and changed his mind.

The victim also told officers that Chen had then grabbed $160 in $20 bills off a desk and fled the home. She was attempting to leave the scene in a car driven by another man when police arrived. During a search of the back seat of the vehicle, where Chen had been sitting, police discovered the $160 in $20 bills hidden in a cup holder. The victim identified the money as his.

After being placed into custody and booked on the above charges, the case got really interesting when the INS became involved.

“Basically, she’s being held on an INS detainer, because she is a Chinese national,” explained Chief Terence Delehanty. “Certainly, we are concerned about the possibility of human trafficking in this case, as there is a group operating in the area that is involved in that on the North Shore. Whether or not she is a victim of that, is still under investigation.”

Police were not able to provide any additional details about the man who was driving the car Chen was found in.


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