45 year old Zuqiu Chen of Northfield was arraigned yesterday in Rice County District court on a charge of promotion of prostitution. Agents of the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force and the MN BCA were alerted by Northfield Police of possible prostitution at Mystic Massage on Hwy 3. According to the criminal complaint received yesterday, an undercover Agent entered the parlor on two separate occasions and received a massage from Asian females. One of them was using her body to suggest more than a massage. The agent left. During another massage, the female masseuse was rubbing her body on the agent and then began to touch him sexually. He stopped her, paid for the massage, gave her a tip and
she pointed to his wallet at another $20 bill. During each of the visits, an Asian man was at the desk, later identified as Chen. During a search agents found $14,000 in cash on his person. He was taken into custody. County Attorney John Fossum said, “what we need to be able to prove with that is that he was at least transporting the women to and from work. And we have surveillance of him going to and from the business with the women in the car”. The business is 300 feet from Babcock Park which adds another 3 years due to it’s proximity to a play area. Fossum said they’re still trying to pin down who Chen really is, “there’s some indication of an immigration violation in New York state about 20 years ago”. There are also cultural and language barriers. Chen remains in the Rice County jail on $200,000 conditional bail. He’s looking at 18 years in prison. There’s also a hold on him from ICE. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Fossum suspects that there was human trafficking involved. They’re still trying to find out WHO the women are as they speak very little English. Are they victims? Should they be charged? Fossum said the focus is to protect the victims of human trafficking and stop it from happening. His next court appearance is February 16th. CHEN COMPLAINT
Fossum surprised on Barron’s light sentence
Yesterday, 33 year old Joshua Paul Barron, well known to Northfield Police, was sentenced in Federal Court for Possession of Methamphetamine with intent to sell and possessing a firearm in relation to drug trafficking. He got 15 years. But he also has several offenses in a number of counties including Dakota and Rice. Attorney Fossum said the US Attorney’s office called and wanted to adopt the case because of the Career Criminal implications, “we agreed to that expecting that, because of his career criminal history, Mr. Barron was looking at a sentence of 30 to life if he went to trial and around 22 to 25 years if he were to enter a plea of guilty under the federal sentencing guidelines”. Fossum was surprised at the lighter sentence. Barron also has a 5 year prison sentence for Assault in for ramming a police vehicle. There are more outstanding cases in other counties. He’s been convicted of multiple assaults, cooking methamphetamine, selling it, shooting a man and the list goes on. Police Chief Monte Nelson said Barron’s conviction and sentencing are a result of great work by, and cooperation between the Drug Task Force and many surrounding Law Enforcement agencies. He said our community will be safer as a result of this sentencing. Fossum said, “Mr. Barron has a unique gift for not only being charming and persuasive but unwilling to be hampered by the rules of society”. Fossum’s full interview is on kymnradio.net. Barron – Indictment – just one of many…
Another glazy day on sidewalks
An icy glaze on the roads and sidewalks has made for some tricky navigating. Use caution and be sure to completely clear your windows.