Brewster, NY

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

The Village of Brewster is located within Putnam County, NY, and is included in the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is situated in the lower Hudson River Valley region and has a population of less than 3,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been widespread, persistent, and well-documented problems throughout the county, including within Brewster. Examples include a 2021 case in which a man was arrested and charged for being a driver for a prostitution ring that served Putnam County, specifically Brewster, that was part of a large international human smuggling and sex trafficking operation. In a complaint unsealed in February 2021, an FBI agent testified that the suspect would arrange appointments by text messages or WhatsApp. He would then drive the prostituted women from Queens to Putnam County, as he had been for the prior seven years. The man had contact information on his cell phone for 383 alleged sex buyers in the small town of Brewster alone. The investigation found that women from Central America were smuggled into the U.S. and then into the NY/NJ region to serve in forced prostitution. The women were driven to various locations, working 12 or more hours a day, servicing 20 to 40 men per shift. The organization charged, on average, $35 to $40 per 10- to 15-minute session, which generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit proceeds each month. This money was allegedly collected by four men and was deposited into bank accounts in an attempt to avoid currency-transaction reporting requirements. The proceeds paid mortgages and other property maintenance expenses on properties owned in New Jersey and Florida. The organization kept 50 percent of the daily proceeds. The victims were given the other 50 percent. Still, their money was often used to satisfy a trafficking debt and/or wired to sex traffickers in the Puebla and Tenancingo regions of Mexico. The Putnam County driver admitted to FBI agents that he was aware that many of the women he transported were being coerced or forced into prostitution. The FBI said agents observed him drop off and pick up women to Brewster over a three-month period in early 2020, typically to apartments in multi-family houses.

Among the local efforts to address such problems is the use of tactics targeting demand. For example, sex buyer loss of employment has occurred within the town. In April 2022, a former Brewster police officer pled guilty to a bribery scheme in which he exchanged sex for something of value. The man had accepted free sexual “services” from prostituted women in exchange for protecting two sex-trafficking rings based in Queens, New York. The man had served part-time on the Brewster police force between 2006 and the time of his arrest and subsequent suspension from the force in December 2021. According to court documents and facts presented during court proceedings, from 2010 until October 2018, the man protected members of a prostitution business and a sex trafficking organization that transported women from Queens to Brewster for the purposes of engaging in prostitution. The former police officer’s protection included giving advanced notice of law enforcement activities and assisting in avoiding detection and apprehension. The man admitted to communicating by text message with members of the sex-trafficking organization, who would bring women to him at the Brewster police station, where he would receive sex in exchange for his protection of their illicit business. Five defendants from the sex-trafficking organization were charged in December 2021 with sex trafficking, transporting minors, promoting prostitution, using interstate facilities to commit bribery, and related conspiracy counts.

Key Partners

State New York
Type City
Population 2544
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