Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The house at 87 Gore St. has been identified as the most recent used as a brothel in Cambridge by a Chinatown crime ring. (Photo: Google Street View)

Cambridge hosted brothels on Second, Charles and Gore streets run by a 24-person crime ring out of Chinatown, the Crime Boston website reported Thursday. The Universal Hub site noted the post the next day — the day prime suspect Wei Xing Chen was to be arraigned after a July 1 arrest.

The brothels, operated since 2009 with others in Boston and Allston, were at 108 2nd St. in Cambridge, 185 Charles St. and, most recently, 87 Gore St., according to an affidavit written by FBI agent Jason Costello and reported by Crime Boston. All are in East Cambridge, within a few blocks of the Lechmere T stop and Cambridgeside Galleria. There are also drug and firearms charges facing Chen and two others, who are said to have boasted of importing “brainwashed” women from Malaysia, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam for use as sex workers.

Chen was recorded in person and by telephone, according to the quoted FBI reports, including this snippet from the Crime Boston report that will no doubt be used to good effect by federal prosecutors:

In one conversation with a cooperating source, Chen said he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.

“I’m just opening a whorehouse,” he said. “What kind of law am I breaking, right? There’s nothing.”