NORWALK, Conn. -- When the Norwalk Police Department busted a local strip club on drug and prostitution charges, the owner, two bartenders, a number of dancers and some patrons were among those arrested.
The bust at the Office Café occurred late on Dec. 1, after Special Services investigators obtained 38 arrest warrants for a dozen individuals and two search warrants, police said.
Undercover officers had infiltrated the strip club at 201 Liberty Square and purchased varying amounts of cocaine, according to police reports.
The operation came after police received dozens of complaints and confidential tips, police said.
The investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected. According to police, the 11 people picked up and the charges are:
Leigha Rybnick, 41, of 24 Old Colony Road, Stamford, is a manager/bartender who sold cocaine to undercover officers on nine separate occasions, six times in the strip club, police said.
The Connecticut State Police executed a search warrant at her residence in Stamford, where cocaine, marijuana, prescription pills and drug paraphernalia were found, police said. Rybnick was arrested during a traffic stop, where officers seized a large amount of cocaine and cash, police said. Rybnick was held on $250,000 bond.
Gene Morell, 60, of Norwalk, the club's owner was arrested at the scene on five counts of permitting and promoting prostitution by his employees.
Dylan Pascale, 28, of Norwalk, a bouncer, was charged with two counts of promoting and permitting prostitution.
Briana Hickey, 21, of Norwalk, a bartender, was charged two counts of sale of narcotics conspiracy and two counts of possession of narcotics.
Emily Soto, 23, of Bridgeport, an “exotic dancer,” was charged with two counts of prostitution while acting as a cafe employee. When taken into custody, a bag of cocaine was found in her purse and she was additionally charged with possession of narcotics.
Ashley Ouelett, 26 of Bridgeport, an “exotic dancer,” was arrested on three counts of prostitution and one count of sale and possession of narcotics conspiracy.
Cassandra Bryan, 35, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., an “exotic dancer,” was arrested on five counts of prostitution and one count of sale and possession of marijuana.
George Reyes, 30, of Norwalk, a patron, was charged with sale and possession of marijuana.
William Oberdoster, 44, of Norwalk, a patron, was charged with sale of narcotics and sale of narcotics conspiracy.
James Gibson, 29, of Stratford, was charged with possession of narcotics and possession of marijuana.
Barbara Scharoun, 27, of Norwalk, an “exotic dancer,” was arrested on an outstanding failure to appear warrant.
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