Tong Yang, 45, of Stella, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to the charge contained in a Jan. 21, 2014, federal indictment.
By pleading guilty, Yang admitted that he traveled to Minnesota on Dec. 7, 2013, to pick up a 15-year-old girl and bring her back to Missouri with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity.
Yang had contacted the minor victim a couple of weeks earlier by sending her a friend request on Facebook. Yang talked to her about coming to live with him in Missouri and told her he owned his own business. The minor victim went to her motherâ€™s house to retrieve some clothing on Dec. 6, 2013, and while there, she asked Yang to come get her. She snuck out and met with Yang in front of her motherâ€™s house the next day, and they drove to a hotel in Neosho, Mo., where they engaged in unprotected sex.
Under federal statutes, Yang is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1 million. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Cassville, Mo., Police Department and the Neosho, Mo., Police Department.