Police Officer, CSI, SWAT Member Gets Year in Federal Prison for Brothel Exploitation

This is true exploitation:

A former Sunnyvale police officer was sentenced today to a year and a day in federal prison for helping two brothels avoid police raids, find fleeing prostitutes and collect tens of thousands of dollars in bogus immigration fees from employees who were illegal immigrants.

David Lee Miller Jr., 43, a former crime scene investigator, defensive tactics instructor and longtime SWAT team member with the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, pleaded guilty in January 2005 to two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion.

At a hearing today in San Jose, when U.S. District Judge James Ware asked Miller whether he had anything to say, he said in a barely audible voice, “I think I’ll be sick if I talk.” Miller declined comment afterward. Miller was arrested as part of a scheme to smuggle women from Korea to the United States, charge them tens of thousands of dollars for the trip and then force them to work as prostitutes at the two South Bay brothels until the debt was repaid.

It’s obvious that with the current laws on prostitution and trafficking as they stand, law enforcement have the power to run our businesses — whether it’s “above the law” and they are putting us under surveillance, harassing us, and raiding us, or outside the law, as in this case, with law enforcement directly profiting from extortion and bribery.

It begs the question: even when police are charged with “protecting and serving” sex workers, they are in turn profiting off of our criminalization.

It’s no surprise that those most embedded in the system of controlling sex workers’ livelihoods — not pimps, but police — also take deep advantage of the power they have been given.

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