SOUTH HACKENSACK, New Jersey — Nobody was ordering the special: ribeye steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Maybe that’s because the night was still young at the Twins Go-Go Lounge. So were the bikini-clad babes tangled around the two brass poles.
The stage was neon lit. The stereo system was firing mortar rounds of hip-hop interspersed with Kid Rock numbers. This was Wednesday night at the place that had been exposed only hours earlier in a Manhattan federal courtroom as a secret Eden for two federal officers.
Once Drug Enforcement Administration employees Glen Glover and David Polos appeared before a judge, the damning charges against them were spelled out: how they both allegedly failed to mention under oath to the federal government that they had any part as owners and managers of this seedy jiggle joint; how they employed women who were not legally permitted to work in the United States; how these women performed sex acts in exchange for money at the club.
One DEA source told The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity that the incident is a slap in the face for the agency. “It shouldn’t have been done, and as an agent I’m pissed,” the source said. “Sometimes good people screw up and do stupid things.”
Glover worked in IT for the agency. Polos was special agent in charge—until he was sidelined by an inquiry into his side job, operating this lonely white- and red-trimmed establishment next to a used car dealership.
Glover and Polos, who were based primarily out of Manhattan, first drew the Justice Department’s attention in 2011, when they were each asked to fill out a form as a formality to maintain their security clearances. Neither of them mentioned that they were running the show at the Twins, a nightclub where lap dances were mere foreplay to the rampant sex. And some of the financial disclosures on the agents’ federal forms looked odd to investigators. An $18,000 deposit, for example, was just a “business investment,” Glover told authorities. But that amount, authorities say, was directly linked to the hush-hush dealings at the Twins Go-Go Lounge.
And when investigators started digging, they found that the exotic dancing establishment had an even sleazier underbelly: The talent was illegal.
“Most of the dancers were undocumented immigrants from either Brazil or Russia,” the complaint states. This was a well-known secret.
“The dancers’ status as undocumented immigrants was widely known at the club in part because dancers spoke about it,” the court papers add.
One dancer from Brazil was apparently given a chance to work double shifts “in order to pay back the smugglers who arranged for her unlawful entry into the United States,” according to the complaint.
The women didn’t just pay their bills with dances. The feds evaluated surveillance footage from 2014 that was captured by cameras trained on the various lap dance rooms. Investigators concluded that “there appear to be multiple instances of sexual contact between dancers and patrons, with money exchanged afterwards,” the complaint read.
Sometimes that sex got out of hand. In one of the cached texts to Glover, a manager wrote that one dancer’s sexual exploits were damaging the furniture: “Can you tell [club member] to stop having sex with [sic] on the chair, it’s not built to handle all the added weight she is carrying.”
On a Monday morning in January 2014, a fight broke out at the club. Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli tweeted that at least six people were involved in the brawl, “which spilled out into the parking lot,” where one person was said to have hit two others with a vehicle—intentionally. A badly damaged Mazda sedan, its windshield and rearview mirror shattered, was at the scene.
If the DEA agents-turned-strip club owners were trying to keep their antics off the blotter sheets at the local weekly paper, they failed miserably.
Nor were they very good at running the joint. According to the complaint, it seemed that every day a mop head to scrub the condoms off the lap dance room floors went missing; the cooler was on the fritz, which meant warm beers; the cash till was always too low; the help kept forgetting to pick up the sandwiches at Wal-Mart; girls were getting pink-slipped without getting each owner’s OK.
Glover was supposed to be the one “in charge of dealing with the dancers,” the complaint states. From each girl, he allegedly skimmed $10 to $30 per night for the right to kick their heels at Twins Plus.
All the while, he made fun of the dancers behind their backs. In one email exchange, recounted in the complaint, a Twins manager calls out the dark-skinned dancers. “Maybe [the exterminator] can eliminate some of the colored girls,” the manager wrote. Glover seemed to go along with the disparaging jab in his emailed response: “You can get rid of all the black girls if you want if you find other ones first.”
Glover often operated with an iron fist. According to the complaint, one time he barked at a bouncer for “too aggressively checking the lap dance areas” to prevent them from becoming back-room bacchanals.
Polos was tasked with duties like any other manager. But mostly he liked to glide around the grounds acting like a big shot, the complaint states.
And it was widely known around the dimly lit club that both men were DEA agents. Hell, they practically wore it as a badge of honor, with Polos rocking his DEA badge while Glover sported a Kevlar vest.
Polos even tried to pawn himself off as a G-man. “Polos would sometimes claim to others at the club that he worked for the FBI,” according to the court papers.
When Glover announced he was coming to the bar with two New Jersey state troopers, however, he made sure his fellow manager would be discreet. “I’m coming with two state troopers they don’t know I own the bar,” Glover texted. The manager replied: “Copy, I will be brief.”
But the DEA duo weren’t exactly known for their discretion. Polos routinely made calls and texted with his DEA-issued cellphone to get fellow managers to cover his manager shift at the strip joint.
On June 30, 2011, Polos texted a fellow manager that he was heading to Washington, D.C., and that it was “not looking good in regard to working tonight.”
The manager he’d asked to fill in responded: “Your going to jail in DC… What are the charges?” Polos wrote back: “Work related.”
The Daily Beast got a firsthand look at Polos and Glover’s joint on the night they were taken to court.
From the red-and-white stucco facade, the Twins felt like an abandoned garage from the outside, with a subpar lit-up marquee in the front. It didn’t have many hearts beating inside. Four black lights above turned on anything white or bright.
One girl or sometimes two at a time bounced to the beat in barely-there garments of various hues. Others giggled to each other while Kenya, the bartender, kept the eight or so men quaffing. She had just gotten back from Miami and had a lot to say about the massive sundae she’d devoured there.
One man skipped the $5 “loaded fries topped with bacon cheddar and sour cream” and went with wings and barbecue sauce. He managed to convince a striking dancer to sit next to him while he stuffed dollar bills down another’s brassiere.
That’s how the place seemed to work: A dance, then a clockwise parade of in-your-face flesh between music tracks for single scraps. One girl took a liking to The Daily Beast’s new face, saying, “Well, you’re a handsome change from most of the guys here. Just look around you.”
Most of the guys knew the dancers by name. One regular kept whistling at Kenya to come over to him.
There were two bouncers manning the back room, two burly fellas. One bearded guy wore all black and chatted a lot with the dancers. He held a sheaf of paper that seemed to be important.
The other never really moved aside.
—with additional reporting by Olivia Nuzzi