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Three Asian men have been arrested after being linked to a deadly shooting and membership in a California brothel ring. On October 18th, San Jose police announced the arrest of 27-year-old Lin Tao, 28-year-old An Yan and 36-year-old Panpan Huang, who were connected to a shooting in North San Jose that claimed the life of 31-year-old Xingjian Li. Li was found with a gunshot wound at a North San Jose apartment complex, and died while at the hospital.

 

Originally, the police were calling the incident a home invasion and robbery. Later investigation revealed that the attack was a targeted one, and that the apartment had also been used as a brothel. Police believe the trio tied up Li and one other person in the apartment, and then proceeded to shoot Li execution-style; it appears they left without taking a substantial amount of property. Yan, Tao and Hsung were taken to Los Angeles County Jail (and later transferred to Santa Clara County Jail) on the charges of murder, assault with a deadly weapon, sexual assault, robbery, kidnapping and conspiracy; they are being held without bail.

 

Police are still searching for two other suspects who are believed to be connected with the brothel ring this North San Jose incident uncovered. The two suspects, along with the arrested trio, have been identified as culpable of armed robbery and sexual assaults in several Northern California communities. For example, on three consecutive days in late September, calls were made in Milpitas, Fremont and South San Francisco reporting sexual assault and robbery at gunpoint. It appears the group was targeting known brothels because, as San Jose police spokeswoman Gina Tepoorten said, “They know that a lot of times there’s cash on hand.” San Jose police Sergeant Enrique Garcia expounded on the locations this brothel ring has chosen to situate itself: “They’re trying to blend into neighborhoods that people don’t consider a bad area.” Of course, people who were living around the brothels were generally unaware of the goings-on. For example, Vivek Surabaneni, who lived near the apartment complex where Li was killed, told NBC Bay Area, “I am surprised quite honestly. I’ve lived in this area… and I’ve never heard of anything like this, at least to this degree.”

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The police has released images of the two remaining suspects and has urged the public to aid in the search. Both suspects are described by the police as Chinese men, one in his late 20s and the other in the late 30s. The younger suspect is approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 170 pounds and sported a shaved head, while the older suspect is 6 feet, 2 inches tall, 250 pounds and was last seen with dark medium-length hair.

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