Bruce Wayne Wallis was evidently an excellent pilot with United Airlines. But he allegedly had another business on the side — running an extensive prostitution enterprise with a half-a-dozen brothels under his control in Houston.
The pilot, 51, has now been banned from the skies and faces some serious charges related to his running of an operation that local law enforcement has called “massive,” the Houston Chronicle reported.
“It’s the largest operation that I’ve ever worked on,” said Assistant Harris County District Attorney Lester Blizzard. “(District Attorney) Devon Anderson’s office takes these types of complex organized criminal activity cases seriously.”
The state Department of Public Safety, the Houston Police Department, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office had been on to Bruce’s alleged operation since July. On Wednesday, the pilot’s home in Kingwood was raided as neighbors looked on, Click2Houston reported.
But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
All told, the authorities raided 17 locations across the city in connection with the string of brothels. In the end, a total of 12 people were arrested on a variety of charges, both misdemeanors and felonies, USA Today reported.
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“The investigation was worked as a coordinated effort between all three agencies in an effort to combat prostitution and massage brothels in the greater Houston area,” the agencies said in a statement.
Among those arrested were the prostitutes working in the brothels he was allegedly running. After the eight-month investigation, about 18 women ended up in handcuffs and now face charges of prostitution.
It’s not clear if the 12 people arrested include some of the alleged prostitutes, or if they helped the pilot in the running of his brothels.
The arrangement appears to have netted the pilot lots of cash. Media reports differ in how they describe the population of his alleged brothels, however.
The Chronicle implied in its reporting that among a half-dozen of these establishments, he employed six to 10 women. Click2Houston told a different version: 20 different prostitutes plied their trade at more than six brothels. USA Today reported that six to 10 women were set up in each “brothel apartment.”
Regardless, these houses of sin were operating in both apartments in an area called Galleria and in office buildings.
The prostitutes advertised their wares online and paid the pilot a handsome $400 a week — each. He’s also accused of sampling the product, so to speak, before putting it on the market, and allegedly recruited up to five women at a time.
At least several of the women seemed to be Russian.
And to make his alleged running of brothels seem more legit, police say Wallis set up the prostitutes as ostensible employees of his business, a flight school and charter school north of the city called Eastex Aero. In this way, they had employment records and financial statements.
For allegedly running this extensive network of cathouses, Wallis faces 20 years in prison. A “top lieutenant” in the operation has also been arrested and charged. Tracie Tanner, 37, faces aggravated promotion of prostitution charges
Both are out on bond right now — Wallis on $15,000 and Tanner on $5,000, ABC News added.
Meanwhile, United Airlines is said to be assisting the police with their investigation and said they “hold our employees to the highest standard.”
And as far as pilots go, Wallis was one of the best. Three years ago, he was added to the Federal Aviation Administration’s prestigious Airmen Certification Database. He was put on this list for meeting or exceeding the “high educational, licensing and medical standards established by the FAA; FAA pilot certification can be the difference between a safe flight and one that ends in tragedy.”
[Image via Lisa S./Shutterstock]