Saturday's bust of an alleged brothel in Flanders had civic leaders applauding local law enforcement efforts.
Police arrested three women on charges of prostitution at an alleged brothel located at 424 Flanders Road on Saturday after what they said was a months-long investigation. Mariluz Fonseca, 62 of 424 Flanders Road in Flanders was charged with promoting prostitution in the third degree, a class "D" felony. Milady Leclerc-Roman, 59, of the Bronx, was charged with prostitution, a B misdemeanor. Belkis Serrano-Tejeda, 40 ,of 424 Flanders Road was also charged with prostitution.
A week earlier, police busted another alleged house of prostitution in Riverhead.
Just two weeks ago, members of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Civic Association raised concerns about escalating prostitution and drug crimes in their communities, demanding answers of Southampton Town police. Civic leaders subsequently applauded the recent arrests.
"The executive board of FRNCA is very happy to see that our police and our town officials are indeed responding to our complaints and making significant progress in the battle against crime in Riverside, Flanders and Northampton," Vince Taldone, FRNCA vice-president said Tuesday.
"Each new bust gives hope to many residents who have long felt like the neglected stepchildren of Southampton Town," he added. "I believe that each of these law enforcement actions, which are intended to stop prostitution, drugs and related crime, sends a strong message that doing such illegal business in our community is perhaps not such a good idea. We will never rid our neighborhoods of all crime but we sure can make it a very unfriendly business climate for criminals and watch as those illegal operators seek new places, far from here, to pursue their criminal lives."
Taldone also commended the efforts of Southampton Town police, state troopers and other area law enforcement cooperating in the effort to fight crime despite ever-tighter budgets. Credit must also be given, he said, to Southampton Town officials and the highway department, for repairing and replacing dozens of street lights, an effort which he believes supports effective crime fighting.
"It's good to see that these quality of life issues are being addressed," FRNCA president Brad Bender agreed.
Bender said there is a "renewed commitment to our community" on the part of Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and the Riverside economic development committee. A recent lottery for seven new affordable homes in Flanders, with five more "in the works" for Riverside, is reflective of revitalization efforts, Bender said.
"The Flanders Riverside community remains dedicated to making our community a safe and beautiful place so many of us call home," he said.