Ithaca, NY — An inmate in an Ithaca jail was named as part of a Central New York sex trafficking ring arraigned today.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday the arrest and arraignment of three people involved in a ring which operated in Ithaca, Syracuse, Watertown and elsewhere.
Eric Oliver, 30, of Syracuse, is alleged to be the leader of the ring. He was assisted by Tirra Pate, 19, also of Syracuse and Jessica Moro, 19, of Cicero. The New York Attorney General alleges Oliver contacted Pate and Moro in Ithaca and Watertown jails.
“The sex trafficking ring was so brazen that Oliver made phone calls directing its operation from jail even though he was warned that the calls could be recorded,” according to a statement. “Oliver called Moro and Pate from the Watertown and Ithaca jails during hte past year to direct them to transport prostitutes to various locations. He also phoned Moro from jail with instructions to provide drugs to a prostitute to get her to work,” the AG’s office announced.
According to Schneiderman, the three “preyed on women as young as 15 years old, recruiting them to work as prostitutes; and in certain instances intimidating them with the use of physical force to compel them to commit act of prostitution; and, in other instances, providing cocaine, heroin and the drug MDMA (known as “molly”) to prositutes in order for them to continue working.”
Oliver faces two counts of Sex Trafficking, Compelling Prostitution, Promoting Prostitution, Rape and Conspiracy. The Sex Trafficking charges alone could result in 10 to 25 years in prison.
Moro faces charges of Promoting Prostitution and Conspiracy. Pate faces charges of Sex Trafficking, Promoting Prostitution and Conspiracy.
The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office was among the law enforcement agencies involved in the arrests.