The madame of a multi-state prostitution ring pleaded guilty in Federal Court on Monday to interstate transport of an individual for the purpose of prostitution.
Tatiana Valencia "Toni" Wallace appeared before Federal Magistrate Susan K. Lee.
Police said last Sept. 27, Chattanooga Detective Zach Fuller, working undercover, negotiated an agreement with a prostitute who agreed to perform sex acts at the Sheraton Hotel for $160. Detective Fuller had initially responded to a Backpage.com advertisement that indicated the prostitute had an assistant who booked customers.
Police said the same phone number listed in the ad was the same as that in multiple Backpage.com ads. The business name was listed as "Dreamgirl Companions."
Listings were found in Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Maine, Utah, Nebraska, Tennessee and other states.
The ads gave a female named "Toni" as the point of contact.
Last Thursday, federal agents, working with the city police, learned that "Toni" had purchased an airline ticket to be used by one of the "Dreamgirl Companions" to travel from Chattanooga to Salt Lake City, Utah, "for the purpose of prostitution."
On Friday, agents and detectives located "Toni" at the Electric Cowboy on Brainerd Road and detained her. She was interviewed and was identified as Tatiana Wallace.
Agents said Ms. Wallace admitted that she was the owner and operator of "Dreamgirl Companions" and her telephone was the one listed in the ads.
She said she had just traveled to Chattanooga from Kennesaw, Ga., to meet with one of her "Dreamgirl Companions" employees.
Ms. Wallace told agents that she previously worked for an "agency" in Washington, D.C., but the owner of the business was arrested and charged with human trafficking and money laundering "along with potentially additional crimes."
She said she then had to find other employment and she started "Dreamgirl Companions." She said she had operated it for about a year.
Agents said she admitted that she advertised for prostitution services in multiple states, including Maine, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Georgia, California and New Hampshire.
She said she had arranged for one of her employees to travel to Salt Lake City. She said she allowed her employee to select the flight time, but she purchased the ticket and paid for it herself.
She said she would earn $1,000 and her employee would be paid $1,500 upon completion of the trip.