A Cambodian emigre was acquitted Friday of federal charges that he harbored illegal immigrants who worked at a house of prostitution in Long Beach.
Vu Tieng-Phou, also acquitted of conspiracy, was given a bit of friendly advice by his lawyer after the verdict.
"You be careful," said defense attorney Steven M. Cron. "You don't go places where you don't know the people."
Prosecutors had portrayed Tieng-Phou as the manager of day-to-day operations at the Long Beach house, one of several allegedly run by a ring that smuggled girls and young women from Mexico to work as prostitutes.
Two admitted prostitutes testified during the trial that Tieng-Phou was in the house almost every day and collected money from their clients, then turned it over to the ring's mastermind, Sammy Cheung.
Cheung, who was set to go on trial with Tieng-Phou, pleaded guilty earlier this week to the same charges of conspiracy and harboring illegal immigrants. U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz set sentencing for Sept. 27.