DETROIT—Sierra Sanchez, who performed in less than a handful of adult films circa 2009, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit to one count of persuading or enticing someone to engage in prostitution. The charges stem from her role working for the Miami Companions escort service, according to prosecutors. Despite the guilty plea, Sanchez, whose real name is Nayubet Swaso, could receive 18 months in jail.
“Her plea deal will be filed under seal and it is unclear whether she has agreed to cooperate against Miami Companions co-owner Greg Carr," reported the The Detroit News. "Labeled by prosecutors as the escort service's mastermind, Carr is scheduled to stand trial in March.”
The paper further reported that in July 2008 Swazo, who is the third defendant in the ongoing Miami Companions case to reach a plea deal, persuaded or enticed a woman named ‘Stephanie’ to travel to Metro Detroit to engage in prostitution.
“Swaso also was named in an indictment as meeting clients at a Southfield hotel in March 2009,” it was reported. “Swaso cooperated, providing investigators critical details about the ring's internal operations and payments, according to federal court records.”
Miami Companions was taken down last July by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office, which called it one of the largest escort services in the country. Based in Miami, the ring allegedly sent prostitutes to hotels and beachfront villas around the world. Detroit, according to prosecutors, was one of its busiest destinations in the States.
Swaso, who was dressed conservatively, took a conciliatory tone before Judge Arthur Tarnow. "I've understood what I've done is wrong and I believe in the last few months I've assumed responsibility in this case and for exactly what my actions were," Swaso told the court.
According to the Detroit Free Press, however, Swaso may have been soliciting clients as recently as last week while out on bail. The ads reportedly appeared online on an adult site, featuring “salacious” photos of Swaso, with text that read, “If it is a sexy Exotic girl next door you want with a passionate and sensual attitude than look no further. I am a sweet, petite, down-to-earth girl who really knows how to have a good time.”
Swaso’s attorney, David Nacht, acknowledged the existence of the ad but said Swaso was “taking steps to get it taken down.” He added, “I think it’s very difficult to get out of a lifestyle. It’s hard to change who you are.” He said his client is "a one-time honor student who grew up in North Carolina and was abandoned by her adoptive parents as a teen in Panama."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Blackwell declined to comment about whether Swaso violated any bond conditions by posting the ad.
Judge Tarnow, who will sentence Swaso April 27, told her Monday, "I have no idea what my sentencing is going to be because I don't know a lot about you.”