Authorities bust sex and drug ring ahead of Super Bowl

Authorities bust sex and drug ring ahead of Super Bowl

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  • Authorities bust sex and drug ring ahead of Super BowlMore>>

  • Going to Super Bowl 48? What you need to know

    Going to Super Bowl 48? What you need to know

    Friday, January 31 2014 11:49 AM EST2014-01-31 16:49:36 GMT
    The wait is almost over for the biggest sporting event to hit the tristate area. Approximately 80,000 people will flock to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Sunday for Super Bowl 48. If you're one of the lucky fans catching the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks, here's what you need to know before heading out.
    The wait is almost over for the biggest sporting event to hit the tristate area. Approximately 80,000 people will flock to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Sunday for Super Bowl 48. If you're one of the lucky fans catching the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks, here's what you need to know before heading out.
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Officials described a sophisticated prostitution and drug ring in which 18 suspects sold sex and cocaine as a package deal.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the target market for the so-called PartyPacks were high-end clients in town for large events, such as the Super Bowl. Several of the alleged hookers were arrested just blocks from Super Bowl Boulevard. Hookers accepted payments with portable credit card swipers, Schneiderman said.

"Keep in mind that most johns pay cash," he said. "So that's a staggering number for an enterprise like this."

The ring was led by a middle-aged woman simply known as Beige. Her organization was broken down into groups like Butterfly and VIP and allegedly laundered money through legitimate businesses.

Authorities said the ring brought in more than $3 million in credit card charges during the last year alone. The 11-month investigation also included the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the NYPD.

Elected leaders have widely discussed and criticized sex trafficking in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

Lorie Cohen, the director of Sanctuary for Families, said it remains a major problem in New York.

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  • High-fiving strangers in NYC

    High-fiving strangers in NYC

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:01:29 GMT
    Looking for a taxi cab is a common sight in the city. For some people, an outstretched arm is usually the sign for hailing a cab. A few other folks see it as something else.Meet Meir Kalmanson. He sees a hand in the air as an opportunity to lighten up a person's serious or frantic state. Meir decided to high-five his way down Fifth Avenue. The video of his rebellion of social norms has gone viral.
    Looking for a taxi cab is a common sight in the city. For some people, an outstretched arm is usually the sign for hailing a cab. A few other folks see it as something else.Meet Meir Kalmanson. He sees a hand in the air as an opportunity to lighten up a person's serious or frantic state. Meir decided to high-five his way down Fifth Avenue. The video of his rebellion of social norms has gone viral.
  • Empire State Building Facebook review controversy

    Empire State Building Facebook review controversy

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:52:40 GMT
    When it comes to visiting New York City landmarks, half the fun is reviewing them afterward on social media sites like Facebook. But some folks say the Empire State Building is reporting their reviews as spam.
    When it comes to visiting New York City landmarks, half the fun is reviewing them afterward on social media sites like Facebook. But some folks say the Empire State Building is reporting their reviews as spam.
  • Smoking rates on the rise in New York City

    Smoking rates on the rise in New York City

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:03 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:03:52 GMT
    For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that were emulated nationally.  Sixteen percent of adult New Yorkers smoked in 2013, up from 14 percent in 2010, which was the city's lowest recorded rate, according to the findings released by New York City's Department of Health.
    For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that were emulated nationally.  Sixteen percent of adult New Yorkers smoked in 2013, up from 14 percent in 2010, which was the city's lowest recorded rate, according to the findings released by New York City's Department of Health.
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