Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

High-End Escorts Arrested in Super Bowl Prostitution, Cocaine Crackdown

The arrests are part of a crackdown on rings that take advantage of out-of-town customers during big events

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    Police rounded up 18 people in New York City on Thursday on allegations they sold "party packs" of cocaine and sex to high-end clients and texted their customers to advertise ahead of this week's Super Bowl festivities.

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office said the arrests follow an 11-month investigation by the state Organized Crime Task Force, the Department of Homeland Security and the NYPD.

    Investigators executed three separate raids beginning Wednesday night, when an alleged pimp and three alleged prostitutes were taken into custody at a Brooklyn Marriott hotel. Authorities said the suspects were part of an Internet ring that solicited prostitutes for up to $1,000 an hour.

    Some of the women were brought from Florida and Virginia before the Super Bowl, officials said. 

    In another bust Thursday, officials said surveillance and reviews of business records show an alleged prostitution ring laundered money and credit cards through clothing, wig, beauty supply and limousine businesses and targeted wealthy, out-of-town customers, especially during large events.

    Prostitutes would bring cocaine to clients who ordered the so-called party packs.

    While authorities say the criminal conspiracy extended to Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, the operation was based in Manhattan.

    A text to regular customers saying "new sexy & beautiful girls R in town waiting for u" was sent 10 days before Sunday's Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

    The ring also promoted the suspects' business with advertisements on the Internet and public access television and sometimes billed for cocaine as equivalent "hours" of prostitution, authorities said.

    They allege that after clients were impaired by drugs, the ring would flood the room with additional prostitutes and repeatedly charge clients' credit card, at times more than $10,000 for one night. Through the front businesses, the group would charge credit cards for legitimate goods and services that were not provided, according to investigators.

    "Drug trafficking and prostitution are a scourge on communities across our state," Schneiderman said.

    In the third prostitution ring bust Thursday, three alleged ringleaders were arrested, accused of forcing three women from Mexico into prostitution. 

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