Joint Investigation Led by AG’s Organized Crime Task Force and NYPD’s
Human Trafficking Team Marks First Time AG Has Charged Newly Enacted Crime
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced the indictment of Paul Alexander, 57, of the Bronx, a Level 3 Sex Offender, for sex trafficking young girls throughout New York City. Alexander’s indictment is the result of a long-term joint investigation between the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Vice Major Case Squad, Human Trafficking Team. Alexander’s arrest and charges in December 2020 marked the first time Attorney General James has charged a defendant with the newly enacted crime of Sex Trafficking of a Child, which strengthens prosecutors’ ability to hold sex traffickers accountable.
In a 17-count indictment — unsealed today before Bronx County Supreme Court, Criminal Division Judge Michael A. Gross — Alexander was charged with multiple counts of Sex Trafficking of a Child; and related counts of First, Second, Third, and Fourth Degrees of Promoting Prostitution; Conspiracy; multiple counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child; and Obscenity charges. Both Sex Trafficking of a Child and First-Degree Promoting Prostitution are class B felonies, and the Sex Trafficking of a Child is a violent felony offense. Alexander faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted of the top counts. Additionally, Alexander was remanded and ordered to return to court on March 12, 2021.
“The sexual exploitation of children is disgraceful, sickening, and blatantly illegal,” said Attorney General James. “Adults have the responsibility to protect children, yet Alexander’s alleged actions exposed minors to untold pain and suffering. My office will continue to use every tool in our arsenal to root out sex traffickers and child abusers, and bring justice to their victims. I thank the NYPD for their partnership in this work.”
“Today’s charges further affirm the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to combating sex trafficking and protecting the survivors of this heinous crime,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. “I commend our NYPD investigators and the New York state attorney general for their sustained work in this important case.”
The investigation was named “Operation Mile High,” after investigators revealed Alexander was listed as the C.E.O. of Central Jet Charter, a private aircraft charter company. Through the use of covert recording devices, social media, and undercover operations, the investigative team determined that Alexander was, in fact, trafficking children across county lines for sex. The initial investigation began after female minors reported Alexander to the NYPD, alleging that Alexander sexually abused them and other underage girls, and promoted them for prostitution to other men. An undercover police officer met with Alexander, who charged him a total of $300 for sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old victim and a 14-year-old victim — and encouraged the undercover officer to use alcohol and marijuana to make the victims more cooperative.
The investigation further revealed that, between 2018 and 2020, Alexander would lure female teenage victims (ages 12 to 16) to his apartment in Bronx County, often using marijuana and food to entice them. Once there, Alexander would attempt to perform sexual acts with them, expose himself to them, and show the victims nude photographs. Alexander also displayed nude photographs of himself with other female teenagers to his victims.
Alexander was arrested on December 5, 2020. The charges against the defendant are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
This investigation remains ongoing, and Attorney General James urges anyone who may be a victim of trafficking or who knows someone who may be a victim to call the NYPD’s Trafficking Hotline at 646-610-7272.
Attorney General James thanks Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark for her office’s assistance in this investigation.
The NYPD investigation was led by Detectives Antonio Pagan and Liam O’Hara, under the supervision of Lieutenant Amy Capogna, who oversees the NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Unit of the Human Trafficking Team. Captain Thomas Milano is the Executive Officer and Inspector Neteis Gilbert is the Commanding Officer of the Vice Enforcement Division.
The OAG investigation was led by OCTF Investigator Ramon Almodovar and Supervising Investigator Paul Grzegorski, under the supervision of OCTF Assistant Chief John Sullivan and Deputy Chief John McManus. The Investigations Division is led by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes.
The OAG case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Caitlin Carroll, with assistance from Analyst Stephanie Tirado, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Lauren Abinanti and aided by Crime Victims Assistance Coordinator Priscilla Tavares. Nicole Keary is the Deputy Attorney General in Charge of OCTF, which is a part of the Division for Criminal Justice. The Division for Criminal Justice is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Jose Maldonado and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.