A Revere woman and a Chelsea man have been arrested for allegedly trafficking women for sex through an online “escort” service, Attorney General Maura Healey announced this week.
Elena Gaston, (a.k.a. “Dana”), 60, of 18 Eustis St., was arrested Wednesday night, Dec. 2, in Revere by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office with assistance from Revere Police.
She was arraigned Dec. 3 in Chelsea District Court on Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Servitude (one count), Deriving Support from Prostitution (one count), Money Laundering (one count) and Criminal Conspiracy (one count). At the arraignment, Gaston pleaded not guilty. Judge Matthew Nestor set her bail at $25,000 cash.
State Police obtained a warrant for Gaston’s business partner, Carlos Velasquez (a.k.a. “Tony”), 49, of Chelsea, on the charges of Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Servitude (one count), Deriving Support from Prostitution (one count), Money Laundering (one count) and Criminal Conspiracy (one count).
Pennsylvania State Police arrested Velasquez in Bethel, PA Thursday night. Velasquez is being held on $75,000 cash bail in Pennsylvania and has a rendition hearing scheduled for Dec.14.
“We allege that these defendants used their online escort business to exploit women in Greater Boston for their own profit,” said Healey. “This office is committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting those who profit from the commercial sexual exploitation of others.”
The AG’s Office began an investigation in 2012 into “bluemoonescort.com” and “tempu.com,” two websites that advertised sexual “escort” services in the Boston area in exchange for cash. Gaston and Velasquez allegedly own the websites and have been operating them as an Internet “escort” business known as “Jaas.inc.” Gaston allegedly arranged for the women to meet with men and provide commercial sexual services. Velasquez allegedly photographed the women for the websites and allegedly advised them on the expectation that escorts provide sex in exchange for money.
Authorities allege that Gaston and Velasquez profited financially from “Jaas.Inc” and the commercial sexual exploitation of the women, as well as managed the daily financial and logistical aspects of the business.
This case is being handled through the dedicated Human Trafficking Division, which focuses on policy, prevention and criminal prosecutions. Through that Division, the AG’s Office has charged more than 20 individuals since the law went into effect in 2012.
These charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Snook through AG Healey’s Human Trafficking Division, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab, Investigators Sallyann Nelligan and Daniel DeAngelis, of AG Healey’s Financial Investigations Division and Victim Witness Advocate Rebecca Auld, of the AG’s Victim Services Division. The Revere, Chelsea and Boston Police Departments also assisted in this investigation, along with the Department of Homeland Security.
The Revere Police Department assigned Sgt. Lyn Romboli and Sgt. Patricia Carey on a part-time basis for the duration of this investigation. The department has a pro-active approach to on-line prostitution and regularly conducts interdiction by monitoring online advertisements for escort services and sets up stings in hotels throughout the North Shore.