Date: 2008-04-23
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Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that STEVEN TANUIS, 28, of New Britain was sentenced today by United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to one year and one day of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for his involvement in a prostitution ring. On December 8, 2006, TANUIS pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to use an interstate facility to promote prostitution, and one count of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits the transporting of an individual in interstate or foreign commerce with intent that such individual engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, between November 2003 and September 2005, Dennis Paris and Ronald Martinez operated prostitution businesses and used cellular telephones to promote their businesses by, among other things, making appointments for customers (“johns”) with their prostitutes (“girls”), and communicating with their drivers and with each other. Paris and Martinez concealed their prostitution businesses by calling them “escort services,” which were then advertised in area newspapers and telephone book yellow pages under various names. When calls were received from johns, Paris and Martinez instructed the johns to go to a specific motel room wherein the girls were to meet them for an “in-call” or instructed the drivers to take the girls to the johns’ chosen location for an “out-call.” The girls would then engage in sexual acts with johns in exchange for money, normally charging between $125 and $300. This payment was either charged on a credit card or paid in cash.

TANUIS was employed as a driver for Ronald Martinez’s prostitution business, driving girls to out-calls with customers, sometimes across state lines. He regularly used cell phones as part of his duties.

On June 14, 2007, a federal jury found Paris guilty of four counts of sex-trafficking, including the trafficking of minors, one count of conspiracy, 13 counts related to the use of interstate facilities to promote and conduct a prostitution business, and three counts of money laundering. On August 22, 2006, Martinez pleaded guilty to several charges related to his involvement in this prostitution conspiracy. Paris and Martinez await sentencing.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy commended the work of the federal task force that investigated this matter. The task force consists of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Hartford Police Department and the Windsor Police Department.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James G. Genco and Andrew J. Kline of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

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