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5:28 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Alleged ringleader indicted in human trafficking case

Amanda Yamauchi

Amanda Yamauchi

LAKE HAVASU CITY – A Las Vegas woman was indicted Thursday in Mohave County Superior Court on charges including sex trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking and keeping a house of prostitution.

Amanda Yamauchi remains in custody this weekend on $5 million bond after her Sept. 20 arrest. Hers was one of seven arrests made as result of more than a year of investigation by the Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City Police Departments, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Also indicted on Thursday was alleged accomplice Dean Bassett, who remains in custody at Mohave County Jail on $300,000 bond, and is faced with charges of sex trafficking and benefitting from sex trafficking.

Yamauchi’s alleged sex-trafficking ring took place at seven massage parlors throughout Mohave County, investigators said, enlisting the use of Chinese immigrants through coercion. The victims have not been identified, but Homeland Security officials have said they are safe and secure for the time being.

Charges remain pending against a third suspect in the case, 56-year-old Yuqin Shu. The charges against her are expected to include money laundering, trafficking persons for forced labor, unlawfully obtaining labor, sex trafficking, placing persons in a house of prostitution, operating a house of prostitution and prostitution. As of Friday evening, Shu was not listed as an inmate at Mohave County Jail.

Two men were also arrested during the investigation on charges of solicitation of prostitution and felony pandering, respectively.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Billy Sipe will preside over the cases of Yamauchi and Bassett. No further court appearances have yet been scheduled in either case.