DA SINI: SOUND BEACH MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CONDUCTING A HUMAN TRAFFICKING OPERATION OUT OF HIS PARENTS’ BASEMENT
Defendant Used Narcotics, Threats of Violence to Coerce Victims into Prostitution
(RIVERHEAD, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini today announced the guilty plea of a Sound Beach man to conducting a human trafficking operation out of the basement of his parents’ house over the course of several years.
“This is an individual who clearly had no regard for the women he victimized, subjecting them to exploitation, fear and humiliation,” District Attorney Sini said. “It is our hope that this guilty plea delivers justice for the many survivors of Rodio’s scheme. Let this also serve as a message to other offenders that my Office will continue to aggressively target and prosecute human traffickers.”
Raymond Rodio III, 48, pleaded guilty today to one count of Sex Trafficking, as a B violent felony; four counts of Sex Trafficking, as a B felony; one count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a B felony; one count of Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree, a C felony; and one count of Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, a D felony.
In August 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 been forced into sex trafficking by Rodio in the spring of 2018.
“The investigation began thanks to the expert training our police officers receive on recognizing victims of human trafficking and their vigilance on this issue,” District Attorney Sini said. “This goes to show why education and public awareness are so critical to combating human trafficking.”
Further investigation by the Human Trafficking Investigations Unit and the District Attorney’s Office’s Human Trafficking Team revealed that Rodio had been conducting a human trafficking operation out of the basement of his parents’ residence, located on Lower Rocky Point Road in Sound Beach, since as early as 2014. The investigation identified more than 20 victims of Rodio’s sex trafficking operation.
Rodio would 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 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 forced the victims to perform prostitution at various motels throughout Suffolk County.
Rodio coerced his victims into performing prostitution by providing them with heroin and crack cocaine to impair their judgment as well as subjecting one victim to threats of physical violence.
The Suffolk County Police Department’s Narcotics Section, in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Investigations Unit, began a subsequent investigation that revealed Rodio was also engaged in selling drugs.
Rodio is scheduled to be sentenced by Acting Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen on March 9. The Court promised the defendant a sentence of nine and one-half years in prison with five years of post-release supervision on the top count. Rodio will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.
This Enhanced Prosecution Bureau case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Daniel Cronin with assistance from Assistant District Attorney Laura Sarowitz.