Kenilworth house to remain under lock
WARREN — A southeast side home that police said was used as the base for a human trafficking and prostitution ring will remain boarded up at least for two more months.
An attorney representing Daniel Blasco, 62, met with Warren city Law Director Greg Hicks and city attorney Traci Timko Sabau prior to a hearing Tuesday morning in the Trumbull County Common Pleas Courtroom of Judge Andrew D. Logan. The two sides agreed to the terms of a preliminary injunction that keeps Blasco’s home at 765 Kenilworth Ave. SE locked and boarded until a hearing for a permanent injunction can be held Dec. 4 in Logan’s court.
Hicks said the city’s nuisance abatement ordinance allows for the home to be locked up for a period of one year. He said city officials agreed that Blasco be allowed to go inside the home on Tuesday afternoon to pick up personal belongings like toiletries and clothing.
Blasco was accompanied by a friend as two police detectives arrived at the two-story Kenilworth home about 2 p.m. to let him in.
Blasco’s attorney, Carlo Ciccone, said his client was not ready to put forward a case Tuesday, but will be presenting witnesses and evidence at the December hearing.
“At that time, we will be in a better position to get him back in the home,” Ciccone said, noting that Blasco is now living in his car.
Warren police raided Blasco’s home Sept. 19, taking him and a woman into custody. Blasco, who was charged with a felony promoting prostitution charge in Warren Municipal Court, was released from Trumbull County Jail Oct. 2 after posting a $100,000 bond, court records show.
The criminal case against Blasco has been bound over to a Trumbull County grand jury, Hicks said, with authorities continuing to interview victims / witnesses.
“The city is pursuing this nuisance abatement case as a civil matter,” Hicks said.
Authorities have been looking into this case since January, Hicks said, since a woman reported she was being held against her will and forced into prostitution.
Hicks said it appears the home was a “brothel” with women rotating in and out.
According to a police report, a woman told police a man posted advertisements for her on backpage.com and gave her a phone for “customers” to call her on. The male customers who called her met her at 765 Kenilworth Ave. SE and gave her money that she handed over to the owner of the house, the report states.
After having sex with the customers, the man would take her to “drug houses to buy heroin,” the police report states.
Police officers found the place was advertised online as a “stripper pole house,” where women performed dances for clients who paid for sex.
Blasco owns the house and bought it in 2008, according to Trumbull County Auditor’s Office records. Blasco said he moved into Warren at the time after being transferred from Pittsburgh in his General Motors job. He said he has since retired.
Meanwhile, the woman who was arrested the day of the raid, Laura Panagis, 28, also was allowed to go into the home to get her belongings, according to the order from Logan.
Timko Sabau said Panagis was let into the home prior to Blasco.
Court records show Panagis, who was charged with possession of drug abuse instruments, is in rehab and will appear again in municipal court Dec. 7 to face the charge.