A recently terminated NYPD officer is accused of running a prostitution ring by transporting girls to and from hotels in Long Island, Staten Island, the Bronx, Fort Lee and Secaucus, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Eduardo Cornejo, 33, an 11-year veteran of the department before being terminated for failing a drug test last month, faces up to 10 years in prison for human trafficking and public corruption charges that have been issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Eastern District of New York.
Cornejo was under surveillance from the FBI and NYPD since the “late spring of 2015” after the NYPD had received a tip that he “was selling the sexual services of a young woman,” according to the criminal complaint.
On July 9, 2015 and September 22, 2015, respectively, Cornejo was observed by authorities dropping off one to three young women at two separate hotels, one in Staten Island and one in Fort Lee, waiting for the women outside in his car, officials said.
Furthermore, check-in dates and times indicated that the Fort Lee motel was a location Cornejo frequently took women between June 3, 2015 and September 22, 2015, officials said.
The operation had at least seven women working with Cornejo when they began to frequent an unnamed Secaucus hotel on November 5 and November 6 of last year.
Text messages obtained by authorities indicate that the escorts would charge men $100 for 15 minutes of their time, $150 for 30 minutes of their time and $50 for oral sex and their services were often advertised on backpage.com.
Getting caught on wire being worn by cooperating witnesses on several different occasions last month, Cornejo was overheard saying things like “Who is going to [expletive] you today?” to the women.
“As alleged, the defendant betrayed the trust of the residents of the city he swore to protect,” U.S. Attorney Capers said in a statement.
“Rather than seeking to eradicate crime from the streets of the city, the defendant promoted prostitution and profited from his exploitation of women.”