A civilian employee at the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office landed behind bars after he was accused of pimping a woman out of his Lake Worth home.
Joseph Thomas Maira, 58, was in the home when an undercover investigator arrived to ostensibly have sex with a woman who had been advertising as a prostitute online, according to an arrest report.
The woman told deputies Maira normally would take a $20 to $50 cut of the $250 she charged for oral and vaginal sex.
Drugs were found in the home during a search, the report said, and Maira was found armed with a loaded .38-caliber handgun in a bathroom when he was arrested Thursday.
When investigators looked at the woman’s cellphone they found text exchanges from Maira instructing her to “get the money up front, watch the time and hide her jewelry,” the report said.
Several other messages from Maira directed the woman “what to do regarding her prostitution clients,” the report said.
“It was clear that Maira is deriving proceeds from [her] prostitution, aware that prostitution is occurring in his residence and directing her actions,” the investigator wrote in his report.
Maira, a general services aide in the Fleet Management Division, has worked for the agency since 2003. He does not have a criminal record and is now on paid administrative leave.
“The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office holds its employees to the highest standards and never forgets about its duty to preserve the public’s trust,” said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the agency. “Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct. This misconduct was reported, investigated and subsequently determined to be criminal in nature, resulting in the charges.”
According to the report, deputies confiscated a plastic bag containing 1 gram of cocaine and a digital scale.
The investigator noted that someone recently had overdosed on heroin at the residence in the 4300 block of Ixora Circle.
Maira keeps her money and “probably” would return it if she asked, the woman told investigators.
She also said she had recently talked to a friend about “trying to get away from Maira but didn’t know how to leave,” the report said.
The report gave no indication that Maira had pimped out other women.
Maira was jailed on charges of keeping a house of ill fame, living off the earning of a prostitute, cocaine possession, and possession of a gun during a felony.
He was released early Friday after posting $8,000 bond, records show.