After an intense, yearlong investigation, the Phoenix vice squad busted an alleged taxi prostitution ring involving seven women and two men last Wednesday, reports The Arizona Republic.
According to authorities, the organizers of the taxi prostitution ring used a sophisticated system of cabs to ferry young women for "out-call and in-call prostitution services." The cab drivers would then collect the money and return it to a main location where the profits would be shared with the group.
Under Arizona law, the men could face charges of pandering and receiving earnings from prostitution. Pandering is a class 5 felony and includes compelling, inducing or encouraging any person to lead a life of prostitution. The women will most likely face charges of knowingly engaging in prostitution which is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by at least fifteen days in jail.
Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos added that the operation focused on recruiting illegal immigrants as young as 19 and marketed itself through the use of advertisements in Spanish-language magazines and business cards.
“As is the case with most prostitutes, those recruiting will prey on those down on their luck,” Martos told The Republic.
The Phoenix vice squad is still investigating the Phoenix taxi prostitution ring, and more arrests may be forthcoming, according to police. If you have been charged with a crime relating to prostitution, a Phoenix criminal lawyer can ensure that your legal rights are being protected in the case. You can find more information about the crime of prostitution and its related offenses in the Related Resources below.
- Find a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Phoenix Police Bust Prostitution Ring with Cabbies (Associated Press)
- Prostitution (FindLaw)
- Paul Nichta Sentenced for His Desert Divas Business (Phoenix Criminal Law News)