Brothel Bust in Upscale Las Vegas Neighborhood - 8 News NOW

George Knapp, Investigative Reporter

Brothel Bust in Upscale Las Vegas Neighborhood

Posted: Updated:
Capt. Bob Chinn, Metro Capt. Bob Chinn, Metro
Vice police arrest suspected madam 47-year-old Joan Yslas, alias Joan Jett, who faces numerous felony counts including pandering and drug trafficking. Vice police arrest suspected madam 47-year-old Joan Yslas, alias Joan Jett, who faces numerous felony counts including pandering and drug trafficking.
Vice police arrest 22-year-old Marwa Maiwan. Vice police arrest 22-year-old Marwa Maiwan.
Police say this home was being used as a brothel. Police say this home was being used as a brothel.

Prostitution is turning up in places you'd never suspect. Thursday morning, vice officers busted a full service brothel inside an exclusive, gated community. The Channel 8 I-Team was also there.

Nevada is far more tolerant about prostitution than any other state, but that tolerance goes out the window when a bordello moves in right next door. Residents of the exclusive Siena Village Golf Course community have got to be shaking their heads in disbelief right about now, because of a prostitution ring that has allegedly been operating right under their noses.

The lights of the Las Vegas Strip are a distant twinkle from the vantage point of the Siena Golf Course community. The narrow streets outside the exclusive homes get very quiet after the sun goes down. But not Wednesday night.

"Okay, they just gave the signal. You knock on the door. Let us know when it's cool to come in," said a vice officer.  With military precision, vice officers stormed into the sprawling house on Bersaglio to bust what they say is an upscale bordello that's been in business for months.

Undercover detectives posing as customers say they were solicited for sex shortly after they arrived. Within minutes, the house was abuzz with other officers and the women were in custody.

"This is more of an upscale one, but it shows no matter where you live, there may be a brothel in your neighborhood," said Capt. Bob Chinn, Metro.

Siena is not only gated and secluded, it's age restricted, which might have been part of its appeal to the suspects since it isn't often that senior communities are targeted by vice cops. Detectives say the private atmosphere of the community made it difficult for them to conduct extensive surveillance prior to springing their sting.

Sources familiar with the operation of the alleged brothel say as many as eight women used it as a base, that they troll for customers at local golf courses where they pose as photographers as a way to meet men. During the Metro search of the home, dozens of sexually explicit photos were found of assorted women and a small army of as yet unknown golfers.

Vice officers say the suspects tried to entice the undercover men into paying extra for a few souvenir snapshots. Even without the pictures, it was a pricey proposition.

"It was roughly $3,200 dollars," Chinn said.  That's $1,000 dollars apiece for the three women and an extra $200 dollars for cocaine they allegedly supplied.  A search of the house and cars found a quantity of hidden cocaine as well as marijuana.  There were also the tools of the trade including a riding crop, assorted hats worthy of a costume party, seasons greetings underwear, and bank statements indicating that business has been good.

Detectives recovered the cash they paid up front and matched it up to copies made beforehand. Those arrested include the home's owner 47-year-old Joan Yslas, alias Joan Jett, who faces numerous felony counts including pandering and drug trafficking.  The reason she's wearing those boxer shorts is one you don't really want to hear.

Forty-four-year-old Nonette Stock, charged with marijuana possession, three counts of soliciting and one count of conspiracy to commit prostitution.

The youngster of the group, 22-year-old Marwa Maiwan, who likewise faces soliciting and conspiracy charges. Detectives say Yslas is not only the madam but also one of the working girls.

Property records show she purchased the $500,000 home five years ago.  "It wouldn't surprise me if there were more women operating out of this residence. This is a high end operation. They knew what they were doing. It just took good vice operations to get them," Chinn said.

This vice raid comes on the heels of Operation Pimp a few weeks ago in which nearly 200 streetwalkers were rounded up.  Also popped was a low rent bordello serving working class clientele.

Metro officials say illegal prostitution has gotten way out of hand in Las Vegas and they are serious about cracking down. Because the house was being used for an ongoing criminal enterprise, Metro could seize it, along with two automobiles, although it's uncertain if the police will take that route.

Metro says that if neighbors suspect there's a brothel up and running on their street, the vice squad wants to hear about it.

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