Pair faces sentencing in alleged Phoenix prostitution ring
Angelo John Fiore was the fifth person arrested in connection with an alleged Phoenix prostitution ring. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
A man and woman barricaded themselves in the house near 111th Avenue and Union Hills Drive, but they were eventually taken into custody. (Source: CBS 5 News)
SWAT officers move in as the barricade situation unfolds. (Source: Mike Boyle)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Two dancers arrested in January in an alleged Phoenix prostitution ring make court appearances this week.
Tiphany Finklea was in court Wednesday and the judge continued sentencing until May 7, 2014. Sentencing for Margaret Pahssen is set for Thursday.
The pair, along with Angelo John Fiore and the two owners of the Champagne Room, were taken into custody earlier this year. The owners are Janet Fiore and her boyfriend, Sterling Costa, police said.
Police served warrants at the Champagne Room at 3826 E. Illini St., just north of Interstate 10, and a house in Surprise believed to be connected to the prostitution ring.
A man and woman barricaded themselves in the house near 111th Avenue and Union Hills Drive, but they were eventually taken into custody, according to Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department.
Two women and a man were detained at the Champagne Room.
"Our detectives were able to go into this business and were able to broker a deal, if you will, for acts of prostitution."
Police said someone would greet a customer at the door and offer a menu of services to choose from. Prices ranged from $300 up to $1,000, Martos said.
Police said they were able to locate online reviews from various websites depicting sexual acts provided by female dancers in exchange for money. The Champagne Room was also advertising under the Adult Services/Escort sections on Backpage.com and in adult entertainment periodical publications.
Some of the people CBS 5 News spoke to said they had no idea their neighbors were allegedly up to something like this. But one neighbor said they encountered something weird the night of Halloween.
"In the front room was a king size bed and it had big cameras ... aimed at the bed," said Mike Boyle.
Another woman who worked near the business, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was shocked.
"We just thought it was a strip joint, you know, just your normal strip club, nothing as huge as this," she said.
Police said they seized a number of pieces of evidence, including about $6,000, in the bust.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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