On Jan. 1 2011, the Downtowners Fancy Brigade strutted through Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade under the theme “Arctic Revolution.” Past themes have included “Downtowners, We’re Nuts!” and “Close Encounters of the Fantasy Kind.”
Tuesday night’s strut was a little more somber as 11 people were arrested in connection with a prostitution ring being run out of the Downtowners’ Two Street headquarters.
Update, 3:30 p.m. Thirteen people have been arrested, including two club officials. The Associated Press reports 44-year-old Alfred Sanborn and 56-year-old John Murray face liquor violations and criminal conspiracy charges. Action News has published photos of the raid and resulting mugshots.
The Daily News has photos of the suspects, heads covered, being ushered into a police van at Second Street and Snyder Avenue. Ten women and one man have been charged on various counts of prostitution, and others face alcohol charges. Inside, women were found naked or barely dressed and performing sex acts in what tipsters say is a monthly occurrence.
Update, 4:11 p.m. “This is not a Mummers prostitution ring not a Downtowners Fancy Brigade prostitution ring,” reads a statement from the Philadelphia Mummers Association. “All in the Mummers community are shocked by the alleged behavior of the individuals who rented out the Downtowners hall.”
Update, Oct. 13 Details about the women arrested have been released: One each from Fishtown Olney and South Philly, three from the Northeast and four from the nearby suburbs.
The successful brigade dates back to 1959, and first strutted in 1960. The big parade is just around the corner; What are your suggestions for the Downtowners’ next theme? Should they compete at all, and should other brigades call attention to the raid with their own performances?