Sep. 17—Police charging documents allege the men arrested for operating a brothel provided security and handled money for the business in which two women reportedly lined up for men to choose from.
Multiple police agencies executed a search and seizure warrant Tuesday at 13134 Old National Pike as the result of a two-month investigation, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday. Three men and two women were found inside the building, police said.
Frederick resident Juan Ceballos-Garcia, 29, and Laurel resident Luis Cruz, 23, are each charged with two counts of prostitution business and one count of maintaining a house of prostitution. They were released on their own recognizance Wednesday, online court records show.
Court documents obtained by The Frederick News-Post allege New York City residents Yessica Alvarez-Flores and Jessica Perez-Nanez, both 30, came to work for the operation after receiving information from a friend who said they could earn money as prostitutes in Maryland. The women allegedly sent photos of themselves to a phone number and were offered prostitution work. Perez-Nanez started seeing customers at the Mount Airy address Monday, charging documents allege, while Alvarez-Flores said she’d been there for about one week.
According to the charging documents, the women told police they came to work as prostitutes on their own “free will” and were not coerced to be there. The women were charged with prostitution and released on bail.
Police allegedly found a third man — who had arrived shortly before authorities showed up at the complex — hiding in the attic under insulation, charging documents show. Police released him but said Wednesday charges were pending. Online court records did not show charges filed against him as of Friday afternoon.
Police reportedly found advertisements for the alleged brothel on multiple websites and gained information from an anonymous source who visited the address to pay for sexual acts, according to charging documents. Police also conducted surveillance over multiple days at different times of day and night and allegedly saw 20 to 30 vehicles come and go at various hours, staying for 30 to 60 minutes.
Through their investigation, police reportedly learned Cruz provided security and directed customers where to park, charging documents read. Cruz allegedly told police he was merely a client. Ceballos-Garcia allegedly collected money from customers, documented their information in a ledger and issued receipts, police wrote. Charging documents state that police found the ledger book.
In executing the search warrant, police allegedly found three bedrooms that appeared to be used for prostitution and a fourth that seemed to be a residence for Ceballos-Garcia and Cruz. Police reportedly found laptops, TV sets and cameras used for surveillance, charging documents read. Authorities also found a sheet with the names of alleged customers and prostitutes, more than $18,000 in cash, boxes of condoms and other materials related to sex, the documents state.
The four accused did not have attorneys listed in online court records Friday afternoon. They all have court dates set for Nov. 3.
Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller