Lexington police arrested five people Tuesday after busting up a large-scale prostitution ring that rotated prostitutes through cities in several states, according to uniform citations filed in Fayette District Court.
Mario Antonio Flores, Roberto Salinas-Rivera, Adrian Lezama-Ruiz and Roxana Olea Serna all pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of engaging in organized crime and promoting prostitution. Danella Santos-Evangelista, accused of being one of the organization's prostitutes, pleaded not guilty to one count of engaging in organized crime.
According to the documents, Mario Antonio Flores was "somewhat of a leader in the operation based in Lexington."
Flores would coordinate prostitutes' arrivals and departures from Lexington; he would pick them up and "deliver them to ... 'handlers' in his employ," the documents said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Serna and Lezama-Ruiz were "handlers," police charged. Lezama-Ruiz allegedly ran a brothel out of his Cross Keys Road apartment. Serna was "observed driving prostitutes around to various locations in Louisville and surrounding counties," according to the citations.
Lezama-Ruiz was also charged with possession of a forged instrument after police found a fake Social Security card in his possession. He told officers he used the card for work as a janitor, the documents said.
Salinas-Rivera's job was to "deliver prostitutes to several different locations to perform their sex acts," the documents said; Salinas would allegedly then collect money from customers.
Santos-Evangelista, whose address is listed on court documents as Cranston, R.I., was the only person arrested who acted as a prostitute, police charged. She allegedly "travelled from state to state performing sexual acts for pay." The court documents say there were multiple prostitutes who "rotated from place to place."
The bust was conducted by the police department's intelligence unit in the Bureau of Special Investigations, which worked with other jurisdictions on the case, the court documents said. It wasn't clear from court documents where, besides Lexington and Louisville, the ring operated.
The suspects were being held at the Fayette County Detention Center on bonds between $8,000 and $16,000. They are scheduled to return to court Nov. 22.