APNewsBreak: Arrests in Thailand-US sex trafficking ring

About a dozen people have been arrested across the U.S. for running what authorities called a sophisticated international sex trafficking operation that brought hundreds of women from Thailand to America, where they were forced to work as prostitutes.

As part of the operation, the women were forced to work long hours to pay off tens of thousands of dollars in bondage debts. An indictment unsealed Tuesday says they were "effectively modern day sex slaves."

Alex Khu is the special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Minneapolis. In an interview with The Associated Press before the charges were announced, he said the arrests will dismantle the operation.

Seventeen people were indicted Tuesday on various counts, including conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit forced labor and conspiracy to commit visa fraud.