HOUSTON – A woman who was arrested in connection with a former United Airlines pilot accused of running a prostitution ring in and around the Houston area made her first court appearances on Thursday.
According to court documents, several women paid $400 to work out of several brothels. Bruce Wallis, an ex-pilot for United Airlines, is accused of running the brothels.
Wallis was one of 12 people arrested during 17 raids across the Houston area in connection with the prostitution enterprise. Some of the brothels were in office buildings, officials said.
Authorities said Wallis managed, controlled and supervised more than 20 female prostitutes at more than six local brothels.
"There's no correlation to us at all, except we're all in Houston," said one of the accused who spoke to us Thursday but asked that we not show her face.
Attorney Chris Downey represents another defendant, an alleged prostitute. He, too, said his client had no ties to Wallis.
"It seems to me that it'd be pretty reckless to be running around, alleging that folks are all part of some grand scheme when it appears that at least by initial inquiry, a lot of them have no idea who each other are, so we'll find out," Downey said.
Wallis appeared in court Monday. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years behind bars.
Wallis' attorney said the allegations against him have been blown out of proportion.
Tracie Tanner, Wallis’ co-defendant, faces 10 years in prison if she is convicted.
United issued a statement about Wallis' arrest:
"United holds its employees to the highest standard. We are assisting the authorities and have removed Mr. Wallis from his flying duties."