Retired NYPD detective accused of running prostitution ring, gambling enterprise

NEW YORK — A retired NYPD vice detective and his wife were accused Thursday of running a prostitution ring and gambling enterprise in New York City.

Retired NYPD Vice Detective Ludwig Paz, 51, of Queens, and his wife, Arelis Peralta, have been arrested, according to officials.

Paz, who retired in 2010 on good terms, allegedly operated or "was partnered with and assisted" with the day-to-day operations of seven brothels located on Liberty and Onderdonk avenues in Queens; on Gates, Foster and Fourth avenues and 42nd Street in Brooklyn and on Front Street in Hempstead, Long Island, officials said.

The prostitution rings allegedly made more than $2 million between August 2016 and September 2017.

News of the retired NYPD detective's arrest broke a day after seven members of the NYPD were said to be arrested in connection to the enterprise, police sources confirmed.

Six civilians were also detained, sources said Wednesday.

The other officers charged are:

  • Carlos Cruz, 41, NYPD Sergeant - Enterprise Corruption
  • Louis Failla, 49, NYPD Sergeant - Official Misconduct
  • Cliff Nieves, 37, NYPD Sergeant - Promoting Prostitution
  • Steven Nieves, 32, NYPD Police Officer - Promoting Prostitution
  • Giancarlo Raspanti, 43, NYPD Police Officer - Receiving Reward for Official Misconduct and Official Misconduct
  • Giovanny Rojas-Acosta, 40, NYPD Detective - Enterprise Corruption
  • Rene Samaniego. 43, NYPD Detective - Enterprise Corruption
  • The Queens District Attorney's Office is handling the case. The investigation, handled by Internal Affairs, began in 2015.

"Today, those who swore an oath and then betrayed it have felt the consequences of that infidelity," NYPD Commissioner James O' Neill said. "The people of this Department are rightly held to the highest standard, and should they fail to meet it, the penalty will be swift and severe. I thank Deputy Commissioner Joseph Reznick for the thorough investigation performed by the Internal Affairs Bureau, in partnership with the Queens District Attorney’s Office, in rooting out this illicit activity. His unit initiated this probe and in doing so, has sent a clear message: there is no place in the NYPD for criminal or unethical behavior.”

To avoid being caught, Paz allegedly used his knowledge of NYPD policy, such as rules against detectives exposing their genitals during interactions with prostitutes. Paz is accused to requiring clients to expose themselves and be fondled during the brothel's security screening.

Paz also allegedly avoided raids by using his NYPD contacts and paying for police information.

Police discuss the investigation below: