A 50-year-old Berkeley man was in custody Thursday on suspicion of human trafficking, pimping and pandering after he was found with five women at a Santa Rosa hotel, police said.
Vincent Andrew Rones came under suspicion after a hotel employee told a police officer on patrol who stopped by that there were too many people in a hotel room, Sgt. Terry Anderson said.
The officer found Rones and the women in the room and discovered that Rones had a felony warrant out for his arrest on suspicion of pimping and prostitution in Pennsylvania, Anderson said. Rones and two of the women had apparently been involved in prostitution for several years, Anderson said.
Through social media websites used for prostitution, Rones and one of the women convinced three out-of-state women to come to California and paid for their bus fares, Anderson said.
Rones allegedly told one woman that he wanted a relationship with her. The three women were taught how to prostitute themselves and attract clients using the Internet, Anderson said.
The women later told officers that Rones physically abused them and wouldn't allow them to contact their families, Anderson said.
Several of the women asked for help getting out of their situation and were provided services by Verity, Crossing the Jordan Foundation and the Santa Rosa Police Officer's Association.
Rones was being held at the Sonoma County Jail on $625,000 bail. He's scheduled to appear in court today.
Anyone with information about the case can call Detective Christopher Mahurin at 543-3595.
You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @jjpressdem.