A convicted sex offender who was the senior executive of a private charter jet company has been arrested and charged with child sex trafficking after he was caught in a major sting operation while attempting to sell sex with two underage girls to an undercover officer, according to an announcement Saturday by the New York Attorney General’s Office.
Paul Alexander, 57, had been the subject of a multi-agency, months-long probe known within the NYPD as “Operation Mile High,” a reference to Alexander’s job as the CEO of Central Jet Charter, according to a statement from Attorney General Letitia James’ office.
Since March, the state prosecutor’s office and NYPD Vice Squad have been investigating Alexander for trafficking children across state lines for the purpose of their sexual exploitation.
The investigation was sparked after an underage victim of the executive stepped forward with allegations that Alexander had been pimping her out and abusing her and other child victims.
During their investigations, law enforcement officials uncovered evidence that Alexander, a resident of the Bronx, had been trafficking children across state lines while using Central Jet Charter as a front for his criminal activity.
“(They’re) from the Bronx … the poorest county,” Alexander allegedly told Johns, telling them they could win over the young teens if they drove them around and gave them food and “a couple of dollars,” said prosecutors.
He was already a Level 3 registered sex offender for a 1996 sexual assault conviction against a female of unknown age, while in 2003 he also faced conviction for possession of an obscene performance by a child who was not a stranger to him.
Dan Santiago, a neighbor of Alexander, told the New York Post that the disgraced executive’s apartment had been a hotspot of suspicious and bizarre activity.
“I would always see him with little girls up there,” Santiago claimed. “It was never one person coming out of the apartment, it was always like a group. I found that suspicious. He was doing something up there for sure.”
Last week, an undercover officer who was posing as a John who wanted to buy time with the young teens met with Alexander, who offered him a deal of $300 to sexually abuse the 12- and 14-year-old girls.
Alexander also encouraged the undercover agent to ply the young girls with intoxicants, including alcohol and marijuana, to get them to be more pliant and cooperative, according to the attorney general’s press release.
On Thursday, Alexander was arrested during the sting operation.
Alexander faces a range of charges including multiple counts of child trafficking, child abuse, and other related charges.
“There is nothing more reprehensible than sexually exploiting a child,” Attorney General James said in a statement announcing the arrest.
“This individual’s alleged actions jeopardized the health and safety of our children and highlighted the critical need for these new protections that strengthen our ability to hold perpetrators accountable for these gross violations of the law,” James added. “I thank the NYPD for their partnership in this investigation, and I will continue to use all the tools at my office’s disposal to hold accountable those who seek to abuse our children.”
Alexander is the first person to be charged with the newly-enacted crime of Sex Trafficking of a Child, which holds a number of enhancements and gives prosecutors the ability to place far stiffer penalties than on those who traffic adults.
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