Update: 8:35 p.m.
Greenwich Police say that the string of prostitution arrests they made are the result of a widespread web of activity in the region.
Greenwich Police Capt Mark Marino said, “We came to realize that it was fairly widespread throughout the region. Obviously, it was easy to arrange these rendez-vous. It didn’t appear to be a shortage of women who offer their sevices and there didn’t appear to be a shortage of men who wanted their services.”
The arrests mark the first time in quite a while that Greenwich Police pressed prostitution-related charges against both suspected prostitutes and their customers. Police were tipped off to the activity by Stamford Police in early April. It took about a month for Greenwich Police to investigate and make the arrests after using the Internet and surveillance.
According to Marino, women advertised their services on the Internet, charging between $200 and $400 per hour.
He said that when police made their arrests, between $800 and $1,000 cash was seized. He said that management of the hotels where the arrests were made did not have any knowledge of the illegal activity.
“Hopefully, the word will get out,” Marino said of the arrests. “If we can deter them from coming to Greenwich, I’ll be satisfied.”
A monthlong investigation into prostitution in Greenwich has culminated with the arrests of more than a dozen men and women on a variety of prostitution-related charges, according to police.
The Narcotics Section of the Greenwich Police Department's Detective Division launched an investigation after receiving a tip from the Stamford Police Department's Narcotics and Organized Crime Squad that a prostitution ring was operating in the Greenwich, officials say. Detectives say they found through an anonymous tip the identity of a website featuring Asian females available to perform sexual acts in exchange for money at any location in Greenwich, according to a statement released by Greenwich police.
The website advertised its office as being in Greenwich.
Acting in an undercover capacity, detectives contacted the website phone number and negotiated the exchange of money for sexual favors with an Asian female.
During the investigation, detectives found other websites advertising other females, unrelated to the 'Asian' website, who also were offering sexual services in exchange for money in the Greenwich area. Undercover detectives contacted these websites and arranged to meet with various females at a pre-arranged location in Greenwich.
Using an undercover officer from another Connecticut police department, a meeting with the females was made at the pre-arranged location. Using surveillance investigators identified two men who drove the females to the meeting. At the conclusion of the investigation, four women and two men were arrested on April 12.
Those arrested include:
- Jasenia M. Chabron, 21, of Brooklyn, NY; prostitution; conspiracy at prostitution; possession of narcotics, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Daniel F. Vrabec, 51, of Manhattan, NY; promoting prostitution and conspiracy at prostitution.
- Jessica L. Putzig, 29, of 41 Manor St., Stamford; prostitution.
- Antoine B. Odums, 30, of 111 Chapel St., New Haven; promoting prostitution and conspiracy at prostitution.
- Rosaida Llerena, 22, of 111 Chapel St., New Haven; prostitution; conspiracy at prostitution.
- Haiyan Lu, 33, of Flushing, NY; prostitution.
All were released on a promise to appear April 26 in state Superior Court in Stamford.
Meanwhile, police continued their investigation with members of the Narcotics Section and the Patrol Division targeting prostitute patrons. Detectives obtained hotel rooms at an unidentified local hotel and an undercover posting was placed on a website well known for advertising prostitution. The undercover officer was contacted by multiple men who negotiated a meeting. The men and the undercover officer agreed to meet at a pre-arranged location within Greenwich so the undercover officer could perform a sexual act on the men in exchange for a cash payment.
According to police, during the investigation, detectives found another website offering Greenwich-based sexual services.
Based on those investigations, Greenwich police have arrested:
- Nieda L. Ponce, 43, 175 Prospect St., Stamford; prostitution.
- Francis W. Hogan III, 52, of 52 Father Peters Ln., New Canaan; patronizing a prostitute.
- Alexander G. Huebner, 19, of 7 Shady Brook Ln., Old Greenwich; patronizing a prostitute.
- Joseph Tarnowski, 54, of 46 Mabel Ave., Danbury; patronizing a prostitute.
- Edward Gangi III, 28, of 500 Bedford St., Stamford; patronizing a prostitute.
- Ronal A. Paredes, 24, 114 Ludlow St., Stamford; patronizing a prostitute.
- Kaylan Mukherjee, 41, 164 Cat Rock Rd., Greenwich; patronizing a prostitute.
All were released on a promise to appear May 13 at state Superior Court in Stamford.
Police Chief David Ridberg acknowledged that prostitution arrests are uncommon in Greenwich. However, “We decided that with the information we had that we would run a couple of investigations," Ridberg said. He referred further questions to Capt. Mark Marino, Detective Division commander, who was not immediately available for comment.
According to Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray, the management of the two hotels in town—Hyatt Regency Greenwich and the Delamar—were unaware of the prostitution.
In the department’s statement, officials said, “This investigation resulted in a total of 13 arrests as well as the seizure of narcotics and cash. The results send a clear message that this type of illicit activity will not be tolerated. The investigation also serves as a reminder that the support of the community is paramount to successful law enforcement. Anonymous tips are routinely reviewed and followed up on. Anyone with information pertaining to criminal activity is urged to contact the Greenwich Police Department via our anonymous tip line at 203-622-3333 or via our anonymous email tip line at email@example.com.”