Duo allegedly ran prostitution ring at senior living facility, paid women in drugs

Two Massachusetts men were arrested last Tuesday for their alleged participation in a citywide prostitution scheme at a senior living facility.

Randy Lambach, 45, sought out drug-addicted women for years in the Pittsfield area, took their photo and advertised on adult websites in order to find them “dates,” police said. At least one was a 15-year-old girl, police said. 

He would then drive the women to and from set “appointments” where he would “sometimes watch from a closet or doorway,” The Berkshire Eagle reported.

At least five of these “appointments” were at the apartment of Joseph Van Wert, 65, in his senior living facility, police said.

Lambach allegedly kept 50 to 90 percent of the cash, and paid the women in bags of heroin or crack cocaine. He allegedly threatened to turn the women in if they stopped working for him, telling them that no one would believe “drug addicts and whores,” The New York Post reported.  

Authorities began investigating earlier this year after receiving complaints about an increase in prostitution. By mid-November, police said they had amassed enough probable cause to arrest Lambach and Van Wert, The Eagle reported.

Lambach and Van Wert are being held in Central Berkshire District Court without bail pending a hearing scheduled for Nov. 29.

Lambach pleaded not guilty to four counts of human trafficking. Van Wert pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit human trafficking and maintaining a house of prostitution, The Eagle reported.