NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) — Owners, dancers and patrons were among the 11 people arrested Tuesday following a year-long undercover investigation at a Norwalk strip club.
Investigators from the Special Services Division and officers from the Connecticut State Police were able to obtain thirty-eight arrest warrants stemming from crimes of sales of narcotics, possession of narcotics and prostitution related offenses at the Office Café.
The investigation began after dozens of complaints came in regarding ongoing narcotics trafficking and prostitution occurring inside the club.
While undercover, officers were able to buy large amounts of cocaine in varying amounts from small personal use to “8 ball” amounts, which is about 3.5 grams of cocaine.
Officers also seized records, liquor and $16,000 from the club.
41-year-old Leigha Rybnick, the manager at the Office Café, sold cocaine to undercover officers on nine separate occasions, six of which occurred inside the cafe. As a result, state police executed a search warrant at Rybnick’s residence in Stamford, where they recovered additional drugs and paraphernalia.
Rybnick was arrested during a car stop where officers found a large amount of cocaine and cash. She was held on $250,000 bond on the nine sale warrants and officers expect additional charges.
60-year-old Gene Morell faces five charges of permitting and promoting prostitution with the cafe by his employees.
34-year-old Dylan Pascale, faces two charges of promoting and permitting prostitution as a bouncer at the cafe.
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21-year-old Briana Hickey faces two charges of sale of narcotics conspiracy and two charges of possession of narcotics for transactions that occurred within the cafe.
23-year-old Emily Soto faces two charges of prostitution while working as an “exotic dancer employee” of the cafe. When she was taken into custody, a bag of cocaine was found in her purse and she was additionally charged with possession of narcotics.
27-year-old Barbara Scharoun, an employee, was found to have an outstanding failure to appear warrant.
26-year-old Ashley Ouelett, an employee, faces three charges of prostitution and one charge of sale and possession of narcotics conspiracy.
35-year-old Cassandra Bryan, faces five charges of prostitution and one charge of sale and possession of marijuana.
30-year-old George Reyes, a patron of the cafe, faces on charge of sale and possession of marijuana.
44-year-old William Oberdoster faces one charge of sale of narcotics and one charge of sale of narcotics conspiracy.
29-year-old James Gibson faces charges of possession of narcotics and possession of marijuana. Officers found Gibson to be in possession of cocaine and marijuana when they raided the bar.