A Miami Beach doctor-in-training thought he was buying a 12-year-old girl from a human trafficker to keep her locked up in his home to have sex and keep her under his control, according to the authorities. He was actually talking with an FBI agent.
Alan Li faces charges of attempted sex trafficking of a minor under 14 and attempted coercion of a minor. The 26-year-old is being held Thursday night at the Miami Federal Detention Center.
Li was listed as a resident or doctor-in-training on the Mount Sinai Medical Center website, NBC4 Ohio reported.
His illegal journey to try to buy a child began in March, when he contacted an escort he knew from Ohio, according to court documents. He knew she was being trafficked, so he wanted her to help his “friend” meet young girls – ideally ages 8-15.
But there was no friend, federal authorities said. Li wanted the child for himself and used a fake account under the name Michael Chen to get it.
The escort alerted the National Human Trafficking Hotline, correctly suspecting that Li and Chen were the same person, as documents show she had met Li at an escort site more than a year prior.
She also told Mount Sinai of her discussions with Li to find a young girl. Miami Beach Hospital did not immediately respond to comments.
Mount Sinai told NBC 6 earlier this week that its top priority is the safety of its patients, visitors and employees.
“The individual is no longer employed by the medical center,” its statement read. “Mount Sinai Medical Center cannot comment further on matters regarding ongoing investigations and legal proceedings.”
That’s when the FBI entered the ring, having been informed of Li’s wishes by the hospital and the trafficking hotline, authorities said.
An FBI agent assumed the mantle of a human trafficker after Li followed the woman on how to get in touch with one.
On Snapchat, Li introduced the agent to his “friend” Chen. After switching to the fake account, Li and the agent started discussing details of the type of girl he wanted and what he was going to do with her, read some documents.
The couple paid $500 for an hour with a 12-year-old child for sex and the chance to sell the child for $20,000 to Li so he could keep her permanently in his home and use her.
The officer pushed him on how he would keep the child “quiet and invisible”.
Li replied, “Yeah, I mean I’m going to keep everything under lock and key…Under my control, she is.”
He even told the officer he had a 13-year-old child who lived with him and engaged in sexual acts with the victim, documents show.
Li arranged two separate meetings with the undercover agent but canceled.
“The fact that Li canceled his scheduled meetings with the undercover officer does not mean that he has not taken a significant step in prosecuting the commission of the underlying crimes,” Judge Lisette M wrote. Reid from the United District Court of South Florida in a remand order. him in custody.
After not being able to agree on a time or how to pay, the two finally stopped talking without exchanging money.
Li contacted the escort and said he was afraid to trust the trafficker.
The FBI thought Li’s conversations were enough to charge him. However, Li’s defense attorney says otherwise.
“The government jumped at the gun on this one,” George Thomas Pallas, Li’s defense attorney, told the Herald.
He believes that the federal authorities do not have a solid case against his client.
“Despite the graphic online exchanges, there is no evidence that Li ever intended to follow up on any of these discussions,” he said. “He never sent any money despite repeated requests from the government. And he repeatedly failed to show up for meetings initiated and scheduled by federal agents who were trying to frame him.
Li’s arraignment is scheduled for Friday morning in Miami.
To report human trafficking, call the National 24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, text HELP to 233733, email email to [email protected] or go online to humantraffickinghotline.org.