Published On: Wed, Jan 18th, 2017

Arizona woman, Patcharin Koibuchi, sentenced in human trafficking, smuggling case

An Arizona woman was sentenced Wednesday for her role a sex-trafficking ring involving young girls that was based in Tempe. The Arizona Attorney General’s office found Koibuchi organized a sex trafficking ring, forcing young Thai girls to work as escorts.

Patcharin Koibuchi, 46, was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison and 3 years of probation.

Back in April, the woman was arrested with Erik Dunham and both were booked on prostitution-related charges.

Patcharin Koibuchi

According to court documents, the case dates back as far as a March 2013 sting operation.

It evolved into an investigation into women “being smuggled out of Thailand and brought into the United States,” paying off their debts by performing sex acts for money.

The girls were advertised on backpage.com as Thai escorts.

“During a post-Miranda interview, Dunham admitted to co-managing a prostitution operation with Koibuchi,” detectives wrote in court documents.

“He stated he has a 50/50 split of the money with Koibuchi. He told detectives Koibuchi has the ties to Thailand and helps supply the girls and he ‘maintains’ them by paying their bills, getting them food, etc. Dunham stated he deposits the money into one of five bank accounts he has. Dunham told detectives he has four girls working for him and has approximately 15 over the last year and a half.”

In November 2015, officials with Homeland Security contacted the Arizona Department of Public Safety for help in investigating the suspected operation, which marketed women online as Thai escorts who wanted to “fulfill their Asian fantasy” at the cost of $250 per hour.

A search warrant executed by DPS and Homeland Security at Dunham’s rental properties netted more than $20,000 in cash and police found four Thai women. One was injured while attempting to flee; the other three were questioned by police and admitted to being prostitutes for Koibuchi and Dunham.

The Thailand citizen, Koibuchi, pleaded guilty to Attempted Illegal Control of an Enterprise and Attempted Money Laundering in December.



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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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