The state alleged that Da Zhong Wang, 55, formerly of Smyrna, profited from prostitution by owning and operating brothels in Middletown, Smyrna, Dover and Rehoboth from 2010 to 2015.

A former Smyrna man who operated four massage parlors investigated for prostitution is facing sentencing for racketeering involving human trafficking.

In a Superior Court decision Oct. 31, Da Zhong Wang, 55, was found liable for three violations of the racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations statute, according to a press release from the Delaware Department of Justice.

The state alleged that Wang profited from prostitution by owning and operating brothels in Middletown, Smyrna, Dover and Rehoboth from 2010 to 2015.

After a number of community complaints, Delaware State Police conducted sting operations at locations in Middletown and Rehoboth. Those resulted in a conviction of Wang on a count of permitting prostitution, and Wang’s license was revoked by the Division of Professional Regulation.

Department of Justice attorneys filed a civil suit against Wang alleging racketeering, the first of its kind in Delaware involving human trafficking.

A civil trial earlier this year resulted in a finding by a Superior Court judge this week that Wang is liable for three racketeering violations.

Wang faces up to $100,000 in civil penalties for each of the three violations.

The state intends to seek the maximum available penalty of $300,000.

Deputy Attorneys General Oliver Cleary and Zoe Plerhoples of the DOJ Civil Division led the case for the state.

The court decision with more detail can be found here: https://news.delaware.gov/files/2019/11/DI-140-Memorandum-Opinion.pdf