Monroe County Couple Charged With Promoting Prostitution
Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a Monroe County couple were arrested and arraigned on a previously sealed indictment filed by an Erie County Special Grand Jury, charging them both with running a prostitution business in Erie, Monroe and Niagara counties.
The defendants, Andrew Tubiolo, 33, and his wife Jennifer, 30, are each charged with two counts of Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, both are class "D" felonies. They were arraigned on October 22, before Supreme Court Justice Ronald Tills in Erie County Court, who set bail for Mr. Tubiolo at $10,000; Ms. Tubiolo's bail was set at $5,000.
The charges grew out of an investigation started in 2002 by the Amherst Police Department in response to complaints received by the operators of area motels, alleging that rooms rented by the Tubiolos were subject to a number of visitors and a great deal of traffic. Irondequoit Police had also received similar complaints about activities at the Tubiolo's home on Lake Shore Boulevard Extension.
The activity was traced to "Sorority Girls" and "Elite Escorts," both businesses run by the Tubiolos through advertisements placed in "Artvoice" and "Freetime", complimentary entertainment magazines distributed in Western New York. The ads touted women who were "full service", a euphemism referring to sexual acts, and provided numbers for cell phones allegedly belonging to the defendants. The Tubiolos employed as many as 17 women at one time, and scheduled as many as 11 for "dates" in one evening.
The Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force and New York State Police entered the investigation in November of last year, and along with Amherst detectives, developed information which led to a May 16, 2003 "sting" operation in which appointments with girls were set up with undercover officers in five different towns in Erie and Monroe counties. The Tubiolos were apprehended that evening as they went to meet and pick up money from a driver for one of the escorts. A search of their home was conducted later that night, resulting in the seizure of computers and almost $5000 in cash.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation was conducted by OCTF Senior Investigator Ronald Vincent and Joseph Migliore of the New York State Police, along with Lieutenant Donald Wright and Detective Robert Hess of the Amherst Police Department, Sgt. Patrick Phelan of the Greece Police Department, and Sgt. Albert D'Agostino of the Irondequoit Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Patricia I. Carrington of the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force office in Buffalo, under the supervision of Christopher Prather, the Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Task Force.