Super Bowl ‘party packs’ of drugs, prostitutes spur crackdown
Eighteen people were arrested for allegedly running a prostitution and drug ring that marketed its services to visitors to the New York City area for Sunday’s Super Bowl, the New York attorney general said.
The ring sold “party pack” packages of cocaine and prostitutes and is estimated to have generated millions of dollars in illegal proceeds, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said yesterday in a statement.
The announcement of the arrests comes three days before the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are set to kick off the National Football League’s title game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Separately, federal officials seized more than 200,000 counterfeit items worth more than $21 million including jerseys, baseball hats, T-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Authorities arrested 50 people as part of an operation that began in June and targeted international shipments of counterfeit merchandise as they entered the United States, according to a statement yesterday from the enforcement agency.
Warehouses, stores, flea markets, websites and street vendors selling counterfeit sportswear and tickets were identified by U.S. authorities, according to the statement.
The alleged drug and prostitution ring used a variety of marketing tactics to target high-end clients, including advertisements on the internet and public access television, Schneiderman said. As recently as last week, frequent customers received a text message saying “new sexy & beautiful girls R in town waiting for u,” Schneiderman said.
“Drug trafficking and prostitution are a scourge on communities across our state,” Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement on multi-agency investigations like this one to take down networks of criminals who exploit women and poison our communities for profit.”
The suspects allegedly laundered profits using businesses such as clothing, wig, and beauty supply wholesalers along with a limousine service, according to Schneiderman’s office. They are charged with conspiracy and a variety of other crimes.