NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police say a family ran a brothel on wheels for two decades, using livery cars to run the ring throughout the city.
Six New York City livery cab drivers surrendered to authorities Monday morning. According to prosecutors, the cabbies “promoted” prostitution by escorting “Johns” and prostituted women all over the city. And in some cases, CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, the sexual activities occurred in the back seats of the livery cabs.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said a two-year investigation involving wire taps led authorities to the suspects. Vance wouldn’t give many details, but did say a father-son duo in Pennsylvania hired the cabbies for hundreds of dollars each time they’d help a “John” connect with a victim.
“The two individuals who were operating both in Pennsylvania and New York, who used the service of the intermediaries, the livery drivers, to move the trafficked women around and to introduce them to customers,” Vance said.
The cab drivers each pleaded not guilty in court Monday. Their attorneys portrayed them as hard working family men with wives and children living in the Tri-State Area.
Prosecutors, however, painted a different picture, saying there will be a price to pay for all involved in the physical and emotional abuse of selling victims for sexual services.
Prosecutors now have their sights set on several ”Johns,” who they said will face the judge next week.
The livery cab drivers are due back in court at different times starting May 1. They are being held pending bail that ranges from $3,500 to $15,000.
The father-son duo considered the ring leaders were arraigned in April and are being held in lieu of bail. If convicted they could spend up to 25 years in prison, prosecutors said.
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