Reporting Jack Fink
SHERMAN (CBS 11 NEWS) - CBS-11 has learned the alleged ringleader of a multi-state prostitution ring based in North Texas faces additional charges.
The attorney for Quyen Thuc Ha, also known as Tony Ha, tells us he’s now accused by Collin County prosecutors of engaging in criminal activity.
That’s in addition to the federal bribery and rackateering charges filed against Ha.
On Friday, Ha told a federal judge he’s not guilty of the federal charges.
His attorney, Leigh Davis says, “At this point, we’ve entered not guilty pleas on all four charges against him. This will give us an opportunity to evaluate the case against him.”
Federal agents, Dallas and Plano police raided nine massage parlors Ha owned and two houses as part of “Operation Flaming Dragon” earlier this week.
In all, 11 people have been charged in the federal case.
Nine others have been arrested on state charges.
Federal prosecutors say the suspects ran the homes and businesses as brothels.
Authorities also accuse Ha of paying undercover police officers more than $300,000 in bribes to keep detectives away from his massage parlors.
Those officers were working undercover as part of the operation.
Ha’s relatives came to court, but declined comment.
His attorney says, “It is very serious, and certainly, there’s a lot of concern about a father, a husband, a loved family member and what the ramifications.”
Davis says if convicted of the federal charges, Ha faces up to 30 years in prison, and up to 99 years behind bars if he’s convicted on the state charges.
Five others appeared in court Friday. Three pleaded not guilty. Two didn’t have an attorney and must return to court next Tuesday.
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