D.A.: Prostitution purveyor tried to bribe cop for protection
The District Attorney’s Office yesterday charged 57-year-old Ignatius D’Anna with five counts of bribery in official matters for allegedly trying to pay a cop $500 a week to protect his prostitution operation.
Prosecutors said D’Anna was arrested in November of 2011 for allegedly promoting prostitution at 19 South Bank Street in Old City.
While inside the 6th District police station, investigators say he offered to pay arresting Officer Joseph Ferrero, an 18-year veteran, in exchange for protecting his alleged prostitution racket. Ferrero notified his supervisors.
Investigators said Ferrero met up with D’Anna again in October of the following year while the officer responding to a complaint about possible prostitution activity inside a home on the 400 block of South 8th Street in Center City.
D’Anna allegedly asked to speak to Ferrero away from his partner, then again offered to pay him for police protection and gave him his cell phone number. Ferrero again alerted his superiors, and a joint investigation was launched with the District Attorney’s Office.
Ferrero allegedly met with D’Anna the next month, and prosecutors say the man offered to pay him $500 every two weeks in exchange for Ferrero failing to show up in court or recanting his testimony from D’Anna’s arrest the year before, not arresting D’Anna for any ongoing prostitution activity and warning him of any impending arrests or investigation into his enterprise.
Investigators said the two met on Nov. 2 and Nov. 15 of 2012, and that each time D’Anna handed Ferrero $500 in cash in a Parking Authority violations envelope.
D’Anna has a lengthy rap sheet that includes multiple arrests for patronizing and promoting prostitution activity, criminal conspiracy and weapons offenses, as well as a 1982 simple assault conviction.
D’Anna served two stints in jail – a four-to-five-month sentence in May of 2000 for contempt of court and a nine-to 23-month bid in October of 2000 for theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.
He pleaded guilty in July of 2011 to harassment and disorderly conduct while engaging in fighting. The sentence he received for those offenses is unclear.
D’Anna was arraigned yesterday and is next due in court on Feb. 21 for a preliminary hearing.