United States District Court, D. Minnesota
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM
DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court pursuant to Defendant Waralee
Wanless's Motion for Reconsideration of Detention Order.
(Doc. No. 326.) On August 29, 2017, the United States of
America (the “Government”) filed a Response in
Opposition to Motion to Reconsider Detention Order. (Doc. No.
September 28, 2017, a detention hearing was held before the
Court. At the hearing, the Court took the matter under
Defendant Waralee Wanless's Motion for Reconsideration of
Detention Order (Doc. No. ) is respectfully
Waralee Wanless was indicted as a member of an international
sex-trafficking and money-laundering organization. The Second
Superseding Indictment (“Indictment”) before the
Court charges Defendant with Conspiracy to Commit Sex
Trafficking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1594 (Count 1);
Conspiracy to Commit Transportation to Engage in
Prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Count 3);
Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering, 18 U.S.C. §
1956 (Count 4); and Conspiracy to Use a Communication
Facility to Promote Prostitution, 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Count
5). (Doc. No. 314.)
moved to the United States in 2008 from Thailand and settled
in the Dallas area. Defendant is a legal permanent resident.
Defendant still has many ties to Thailand: Her father,
siblings, and adult child live there. Since coming to the
United States, Defendant has allegedly held a number of
different jobs, including importing coffee from Thailand, a
dry cleaner, and most recently as an Uber and Lyft driver.
Defendant admits that she has traveled to Thailand as
recently as October 2016, and that she and her now-husband
abruptly canceled their wedding there in March 2017, opting
to marry in the United States in February 2017.
is alleged to be one of the traffickers and of the one house
bosses for the sex-trafficking organization. The Indictment
contains allegations that Thailand-based traffickers would
transport victims from Thailand to the United States.
Traffickers would then hold a significant bondage debt over
the victims. Traffickers in the United States, like
Defendant, would then buy the bondage debt.
is also an accused house boss. House bosses are alleged to
have run the day-to-day operations, including advertising
victims for commercial sex acts, procuring and maintaining
the houses of prostitution, scheduling sex buyers, and
ensuring that a portion of the cash was routed back to pay
down the victims' bondage debts. (Indictment ¶
5(b).) In exchange, house bosses retained a significant
portion of the cash that the victims receive, typically forty
percent. (Id.) House bosses would also coordinate
with traffickers and other house bosses to facilitate the
victims' travel to other cities in the United States.
Once victims were lured to the United States, they were
forced to work long hours-often all day, every day-having sex
with strangers to attempt to pay down their bondage debt.
Victims typically did not have the ability to choose with
whom they had sex, what sex transactions they would engage
in, or when they would have sex. In as early as 2013, law
enforcement observed activities and received reports of
activity at Defendant's apartment consistent with running
an active house of prostitution.
25, 2017, the Honorable Paul D. Stickney in the District
Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division,
ordered Defendant detained pending trial. Defendant now moves
this Court to reconsider the Magistrate Judge's decision.
The district court conducts a de novo review of
release and detention orders.
to Rule 46(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and
18 U.S.C. § 3142, the Court considered the following
factors in assessing the continued detention of Defendant:
(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged,
including whether the offense ...