SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Northern California man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for conspiring to pimp a woman and illegally possessing a stun gun in his vehicle. Binh Cong Thai, 29, San Jose, pleaded guilty on March 3, 2016, to one felony count of conspiracy to commit pimping and one misdemeanor of unlawful possession of a stun gun with a prior conviction, and admitted to a prior strike conviction for a 2013 armed robbery in Santa Clara County. He was sentenced to five years of formal probation and 12 years in state prison was suspended. Due to a probation violation, Thai will serve 12 years in state prison.
Circumstances of the Case
Thai is a pimp who exploits women for financial gain. The victims are often required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.
Prior to January 2016, Thai met and transported 19-year-old Jane Doe from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Orange County with the intent of having the victim perform commercial sex acts for his benefit. Thai took sexually explicit photographs of the victim and posted the photos in advertisements soliciting commercial sex on websites known for prostitution and human trafficking.
In the early morning hours on Jan. 1, 2016, Tustin Police Department (TPD) officers responded to a call for service at an apartment complex. TPD located Thai at the apartment complex, contacted him, and arrested him at the scene after further investigation. At the time of his arrest, Thai is accused of possessing a stun gun in his vehicle.
Thai moved to Northern California following the imposition of his sentence and failed to gain approval from his probation officer while his transfer request was pending.
Members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) and the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) Office work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by TPD and OCHTTF, a partnership between the Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and community and non-profit partners.
Deputy District Attorney Daniel Varon of the HEAT Unit prosecuted this case.
Proposition 35 and HEAT
To read more about California's anti-human trafficking Proposition 35 and the OCDA's Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, please visit www.orangecountyda.org and select Human Trafficking Information from the Media Center drop down menu.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 16CF0030 / December 6, 2016