Ulises Ruiz 2016

Ulises Ruiz

Courtesy of Tucson Police Department

A man arrested last year in connection with a long-running string of Tucson massage parlors pleaded guilty today to operating a brothel and receiving money from prostitutes.

Ulises Ruiz was charged in Feb. 2016 with six felonies, including illegal control of an enterprise, keeping a house of prostitution, money laundering and receiving the earnings of a prostitute.

After nearly two years of motions, status conferences and hearings, Ruiz accepted an agreement with the Pima County Attorney Wednesday, pleading guilty to two felonies: keeping or maintaining a house of prostitution and receiving the earnings of a prostitute, said Pima County Superior Court spokeswoman Krisanne LoGalbo.

Ruiz was scheduled for trial on Jan. 9. Instead, he will be sentenced in on Feb. 1 in front of Judge Howard Fell.

In June, Ruiz's girlfriend and co-operator of the "By Spanish" massage parlors was sentenced to two years of probation and 600 hours of community service after pleading guilty in May to the same charges as Ruiz, according to Arizona Daily Star archives.

Police say that "By Spanish" operated out of multiple locations across Tucson from late 2011 until January 2015, when police raided 10 locations associated with 'By Spanish" and an offshoot business, "Daisy's Delights."

Contact lists from cell phones seized in the raid turned up phone numbers for multiple TPD employees, Air Force personnel, firefighters, Border Patrol agents and other local government employees.

In September, Stephanie Garcia, the admitted operator of "Daisy's Delights" was also sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to the same charges as Lopez and Ruiz, Star archives show.

Garcia was previously employed at "By Spanish," but left the business to start her own.

During an interview with an undercover officer, Lopez told the woman about the operation and how employees were required to pay a $40 “cut” for each sexual service performed, according to Arizona daily Star archives.

Police said that based on that $40 cut, Lopez and Ruiz had the potential to make more than $250,000 per year.

In November 2015, Ruiz pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct after he was arrested months before for allegedly hitting a neighbor with a mini bat when he caught her taking pictures of cars parked at a north side location of "By Spanish."

Ruiz was sentenced to three years probation, but in November, Judge Danelle Liwski granted him early termination, as Ruiz had paid all of his fines and fees, court records show.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191


 

Public safety reporter covering police, fire, courts, and sports-related legal issues.