New York State police on Sunday arrested three women at an alleged brothel that’s been operating out of a Flanders home, state officials said.
The arrests came exactly one week after Riverhead Town police busted up an alleged prostitution operation at a Maple Avenue property in Riverhead.
The Homeland Security Investigations unit, which is part of Immigrations and Custom Enforcement, as well as Southampton Town police helped in investigated the goings-on at 424 Flanders Road, officials said.
Mariluz Fonseca, 62, of Flanders, was charged with third-degree promoting prostitution, a D felony, state police said. Milady Leclerc-Roman, 59, of The Bronx and Belkis Serrano-Tejeda, 40 of Flanders were each charged with prostitution, a misdemeanor.
A state police spokesman said the promoting prostitution charge “typically goes to the one who’s running the show,” and that only the two women charged with the misdemeanor prostitution are accused of participating in sexual activity.
The investigation began months back after law enforcement got tips about “activities occurring at that residence,” state police said in a release.
ICE agents assisted in the work to see if there were any victims of human trafficking, which there were none, said ICE spokesman Lou Martinez.
“This is something we do routinely to help our law enforcement agencies,” he said.
When asked if human trafficking is a big problem on eastern Long Island, Mr. Martinez said, “It’s a problem all over the country, all over the world. But yes, it’s something we investigate in New York and Long Island.”
The women arrested Sunday were processed at the Riverside Barracks and held for arraignment.
The announcement came on the heels of last Sunday’s arrest in Riverhead of Adrian Figueroa, 43, of 320 Maple Avenue, who was charged with third-degree promoting prostitution for allegedly running a brother out of that address.
Several other people fled the house when police arrived. Officers found Mr. Figueroa in a vehicle nearby and took him into custody based on a witness report that he was the operator of the prostitution business, Riverhead police said in a release.