Individuals who conducted such Chinese alien smuggling operations are known as "snakeheads". Almost all of the immigrants whom Sister Ping harbored came from the Fujian province of China. Sister Ping was renowned as the most notorious snakehead operating the largest most sophisticated operation of its kind, which became international in scale.
Sister Ping's smuggling operation were fraught with numerous problems, many of which made headlines. One such story involved a cargo ship named the Golden Venture which ran aground off the beaches of Queens, New York in June of 1993. The Golden Venture had 286 would-be immigrants from China in its hold, all of whom had been traveling for months, many near starvation. Ten people drowned in the incident.
She was convicted in June 2005 after a jury trial before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on three separate counts, which included one count of conspiring to commit alien smuggling, hostage taking, money laundering and trafficking in ransom proceeds, one count of money laundering and one count of trafficking in ransom proceeds.
Sister Ping is currently serving a 35-year sentence. She is currently incarcerated in Danbury, Connecticut (BOP #05117-055) and is due for release in 2030.