Man allegedly ran human trafficking, prostitution ring out of parents' Long Island basement

SOUND BEACH, Long Island (WABC) -- A Long Island man is under arrest for allegedly operating a prostitution ring out of his parents' basement.

Prosecutors say 47-year-old Raymond Rodio III trafficked as many as 22 women between 2014 and February of this year, holding some of the women by force in the basement on Lower Rocky Point Road in Sound Beach without a shower or bathroom.

They say he would set up dates with men in the basement or in motels around Suffolk County and that he often kept the women's money and gave them heroin and crack cocaine instead.

"This is a dangerous and depraved individual," District Attorney Tim Sini said. "He kept women locked up in the basement of his parents' house, using the basement as a dungeon. He preyed on women using their vulnerabilities and their drug dependencies to maintain his control over them. With this indictment, we are putting an end to his criminal operation and his victimization of over 20 women."

WATCH: Sini's full press conference


Investigators say women and men would enter the house through the garage door leading directly into the basement and that Rodio's parents, who live in the home, seemed completely unaware of what was going on.

His father, Raymond Rodio, Jr., gave Eyewitness News a tour of the basement to point out the clean and sanitary conditions.

He said he had no idea about the alleged prostitution activity, but he knew his son was in trouble.

"I knew something was going on," he said. "Drugs, that I know. I've tried to get him into so many drug programs."

Neighbors say they had their suspicions.

"What I did see was cars parked on this street, as well as that one, off and on," said one neighbor who didn't want to be identified. "And a girl would get out and walk down the block rather than parking at the house, which I thought was kind of strange."

Authorities say that in August of 2018, the Suffolk County Police Department identified a suspected victim of human trafficking during a routine traffic stop. An investigation by the Police Department's Human Trafficking Investigations Unit revealed evidence that the victim had allegedly been forced into sex trafficking by Rodio in the spring of 2018.

Further investigation identified more than 20 victims of Rodio's alleged sex trafficking operation.

Rodio would allegedly post advertisements on websites, including Backpage and Craigslist, promoting prostitution by the victims and would keep either a large percentage or all of the profits of their prostitution.

The investigation also revealed evidence that Rodio would allegedly occasionally keep victims in the basement for extended periods of time and force them to use a bucket as a toilet because the basement does not have a bathroom. The door to the basement has an exterior lock to which Rodio had the only key. In addition to the house, Rodio also allegedly forced the victims to perform prostitution at various motels throughout Suffolk County.

Rodio is alleged to have used threats of violence to force victims to continue engaging in prostitution on his behalf. He also allegedly provided his victims with heroin and crack cocaine before prostituting them to impair their judgment.

Rodio pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and promoting prostitution. He is being held on $2 million bond.

If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

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