PHOENIX - Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced 47 year old Patcharin Koibuchi was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison and 3 years of probation for her role in a Tempe-based sex trafficking operation. In December 2016, Koibuchi pleaded guilty to Attempted Illegal Control of an Enterprise and Attempted Money Laundering, both class 4 felonies.
“One of the most shocking and disturbing aspects of human trafficking, is that it can happen anywhere,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “We must all work together to protect the vulnerable and keep this despicable crime out of our communities.”
Koibuchi, a citizen of Thailand, was the manager and main organizer of a sex trafficking ring involving young Thai girls. The victims were forced to come to the Valley to work as escorts in order to pay off debts in Thailand, providing sexual services for money at two locations in Tempe from November 2015 to May 2016. The Tempe Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated and shut down the sex trafficking ring in May 2016.
“The Arizona Department of Public Safety is committed to our continuing partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies to ensure justice for individuals who are targeted, coerced, and victimized by human traffickers and organized crime organizations,” said AZDPS Assistant Director Lt. Col. Hunter. “It is our intent to protect the innocent, rescue the victims, and focus the full investigative and enforcement efforts of our agency against these perpetrators.”
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is committed to aggressively targeting those who organize and participate in the heinous acts of sex trafficking,” said Phoenix HSI Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown. “We will continue to work jointly with our law enforcement partners to ensure those who ruthlessly exploit people for financial benefit are brought to justice.”
Assistant Attorney General Senior Litigation Counsel Blaine Gadow prosecuted this case.