Share this article

print logo

Two men arrested for allegedly trying to set up prostitution escort service on Grand Island

The arrest of a California man and a Florida man for allegedly trying to set up a prostitution-related “escort” service on Grand Island was announced Wednesday by Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard.

Howard said the men lured four out-of-state women here with offers of high earnings potential.

After being tipped off to a possible prostitution/human trafficking operation at a home on North Colony Drive, Deputies Ryan Rogers and Timothy Cannan began calling that residence very early on Friday. After getting what the sheriff described as a “vague” response from someone who answered the telephone they set up a surveillance operation.

The deputies and Theresa Nietzel, a member of the federal Western New York Human Trafficking Task Force and a key member of the sheriff’s Human Trafficking unit, got information about threats being made to women lured here for the operation and found on-line advertisements touting high earnings for women at the alleged escort service.

The investigators went to the house on Sunday and arrested Emal Nessary, 34, of Inglewood, Calif.

Nessary was charged with felony labor trafficking, felony scheme to defraud, felony promoting prostitution and unlawful possession of marijuana. The sheriff said the labor trafficking charge involved allegations of using force and instilling fear to compel an individual to engage in a specific labor activity, in this case prostitution.

Scott Zylka, the sheriff’s executive assistant, said Nessary’s alleged cohort, Maxwell Cipriani, 36, was arrested at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls on Monday after he was detained there by U.S. Customs officials with a woman he was trying to bring to the U.S. from Canada. Cipriani was charged with felony counts of labor trafficking, scheme to defraud and promoting prostitution.

Both suspects remained in custody Wednesday at the Erie County Holding Center.

The sheriff’s office declined comment on the status of the four women.