CENTRAL FALLS – The city's Special Investigations Unit raided yet another brothel, this one at 34 Watson St., on Monday, and in the process arrested a city man and a New Jersey woman on respective charges of pandering and prostitution.
Police took into custody 27-year-old Steven Castillo, who hails from the city and is a Superior Court violator. Because of that violation from a previous delivery charge, he received a five-year sentence. He also is being held on $10,000 surety bail for the new count of pandering, and has a pre-arraignment conference slated for July 28.
They also arrested Patricia Gonzalez (also known as Norma Guzman-Hernandez), 32, of Union City, N.J. on the new charge of prostitution, and was issued a pre-trial date of June 7. She also has an Immigration & Customs Enforcement detainer for illegal re-entry into the country under the name Hernandez.
Bail was set at $5,000 with surety, but is being detained on the ICE detainer.
On Monday, the Special Investigations Unit received information regarding an individual who was utilizing women for sexual acts in exchange for money out of the first-floor apartment. Those officers also received a business card the individual had distributed with his business phone number, similar to a CFPD investigation occurring at 435 Pine St. back on March 1.
This most recent investigation was conducted in conjunction with agents from ICE.
An undercover officer posing as a “john” called that phone number, and SIU officials managed to positively identify the address at 34 Watson St. The person answering the phone instructed the undercover officer his business was open from 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., and could stop by at any time during those hours.
Once surveillance teams took their designated places, a Hispanic male, identified as Castillo, greeted the undercover officer after he exited from the rear of the building. Castillo allegedly asked what the undercover officer wanted, and the latter informed him he had called earlier in regard to “sex for money.”
“Both the suspect and the 'UC' were closely monitored as Castillo invited our 'UC' into the first-floor apartment and escorted him to the living room, where a Hispanic woman, later identified as Patricia Gonzalez, was sitting on the couch,” wrote Capt. James J. Mendonca in his release. “The 'UC' was previously instructed to signal police officers when a transaction took place.”
Minutes later, police received that signal, and detectives and ICE agents entered the dwelling and took all occupants into custody.
A search incident to the arrests found numerous punch cards, a hole puncher, $827 in cash, both unopened and used condoms, ledgers and other items pertinent to the investigation, and Castillo and Gonzalez were arraigned in Sixth District Court on Thursday.