Category: Florida

Man charged with sex trafficking, luring victims through website promising help

South Florida man, William Foster, 48, formed a fake nonprofit called “Foster’s Care.” Its sophisticated website claimed it provided free service to victims of human trafficking. Foster targeted young women in group homes, shelters, or those working at strip clubs, particularly low-end ones, where the teens were likely to have violent pimps they wanted to escape.

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Trafficking victims can clear arrest records, but it isn’t easy

Florida law that passed in 2013 allows victims of human trafficking to clear records of arrests that resulted, but process can be slow and complicated. The Justice Restoration Center in Dunedin, FL, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping trafficking victims erase criminal records. Executive director Brent Woody said Florida has the best such law in the nation, and his organization has worked with more than 200 victims.

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Human trafficking lurks in Sunshine State’s shadows. Join the anti-trafficking movement. | Opinion

“Thanks to many years in the fight, nonprofits have the insight and resources needed to craft effective legislation and policies. USIAHT, for instance, offers a program called the “TraffickingFree Zone” that equips businesses, churches, counties and other communities to reduce demand and combat trafficking.” writes Sharon Bates, an abolitionist with the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking.

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Former Sex Workers See Value in Trafficking Education

This month, Florida became the first state in the nation requiring sex-trafficking education as part of every student’s curriculum. “Tragically, human trafficking is an epidemic in our country,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said upon passage of the new rule. “Children of all ages need to know and understand the hazards of human trafficking and how to protect themselves from dangerous predators.”

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How Pace in Ormond Beach is working to prevent human trafficking

Pace Center for Girls has a specific focus on preventing sex trafficking. Pace Center for Girls works towards long-term solutions by building resiliency through gender-responsive services and support (including physical health, mental health, legal, and education); social emotional learning; and developing coping skills in a safe and trusted environment.

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Florida Schools to Teach Students About Child Trafficking Prevention

Florida will be the first state to require schools to teach K-12 students about child trafficking prevention after the state’s Board of Education unanimously approved the rule on Monday. No other state to date has required that schools provide a human trafficking prevention education. Geoff Rogers, CEO and co-founder of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, commended Florida for its leadership. “We hope more states will follow their lead as we seek to put an end to this terrible crime in the United States,” Rogers said.

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Postal carrier, college student, and chef among 23 nabbed in human trafficking crackdown

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Sarasota, Florida arrested 23 people during a four-day initiative focused on protecting Sarasota County children from online predators and human trafficking. Suspects ranging in ages from 21 to 77 responded to internet-based ads, online apps, and social media sites to engage in sexually explicit conversations and traveled with the intent of having sex with a male or female child. One of the suspects, John Inga, was visiting Florida from Oklahoma and drove from Lakeland to Sarasota to meet who he believed was a 14-year-old child.

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Miami Man Faces Life In Prison After Being Convicted Of Sex Trafficking Of Minor, Other Charges

Jason Gatlin, 42, of Miami, Florida, is convicted of sex trafficking of a minor, production of child pornography, and witness tampering. “The defendant tricked the 17-year-old victim into believing that he loved her and wanted to marry her. He enticed her with his attention and drugs, gave her money for sex, took photos of them having sex, and lied to her,” authorities stated.

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Epstein’s Sex Ring Employed His Network of Shell Companies, Lawsuits Claim

Epstein, 66, died two days after writing his will. According to the suits, two of the plaintiffs were 17 at the time the alleged assaults began and one was 20. His death is no impediment to their pursuit of civil claims. A complex system of individuals” that worked “in concert and at his direction for the purpose of harming teenage girls through sexual exploitation, abuse and trafficking.”

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Human trafficking suspect arrested in Tampa

Steven Tylor Cook, 29, “We were able to convince one of the individuals that were being trafficked to not live in fear, trust us, come forward and build a case around her,” he said. “With an individual like this, who’s so engaged in criminal behavior, deplorable behavior like human trafficking, today his arrest was not just a win for us as a sheriff’s office, but us as a community.”

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The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25 people during Operation Intercept. The four-day crackdown focused on protecting children from online predators and human trafficking.

The Sarasota County, FL. Sheriff’s Office arrested 25 people during Operation Intercept. The four-day crackdown focused on protecting children from online predators and human trafficking. “The men arrested during this operation managed to blend into society and attempted to prey on children by developing a trust through promises to exploit them for sexual purposes.”

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UNDERCOVER STING NETS EIGHT ‘JOHNS’ IN TOWN N COUNTRY

One man, Shavar Allen Manuel, 22, of Tampa, FL. had a child in the back seat of his car while soliciting sex. “To put an end to sex trafficking, it’s very clear that something needs to be done about the buyers, “without buyers, there is no business. Every John off of our streets, we believe we’re potentially protecting a human trafficking victim.”

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According to law enforcement, Central Florida is a hotbed for this kind of modern-day slavery. And to make matters worse, victims are getting younger and younger, with pimps now recruiting elementary school-age children.

According to law enforcement, Central Florida is a hotbed for this kind of modern-day slavery. And to make matters worse, victims are getting younger and younger, with pimps now recruiting elementary school-age children. But human trafficking survivor Savannah Parvu, who was 11 years old when she was sold for sex, knows a much darker side.

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New Law Seeks to Curb Human Trafficking

The signing of HB-851 by Gov. DeSantis of Florida comes on the heels of 85 people arrested in “Operation Trade Secrets” — a months-long human trafficking sting in the Tampa area. The new law includes the creation of a database of people convicted of soliciting prostitution, and placing new requirements on the operation of massage parlors, strip clubs and hotels.

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More than 80 arrested in human trafficking sting

Hillsborough County, FL. deputies rounded up dozens of men and women suspected of sex-related crimes as part of a six-month operation targeting human traffickers. Suspects face a range of charges including sex trade, child pornography, etc. The arrests took place at hotels, motels, spa and massage businesses, strip clubs, and adult book stores throughout the county.

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Pasco Bus Drivers To Be Trained To Spot Human Trafficking Victims

The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking is partnering with Florida’s Pasco County Commission on Human Trafficking and Pasco County Public Transportation to train more than 100 PCPT employees to identify and report human trafficking.
“In many ways, we view bus drivers as those on the front lines to combat human trafficking as they engage with thousands of people a day,” said Geoff Rogers, CEO and co-founder of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking.

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Bill classifies strip clubs as adult theater so state can regulate them, protect children

Strip clubs will be classified as adult theaters to ensure they’ll be regulated by the state under a legislative crackdown aimed at preventing human trafficking. Bill classifies strip clubs as adult theater so state can regulate them, protect childrenStuart Rep. Toby Overdorf co-sponsored House Bill 851 and added the adult-theater classification, in part to ensure strip club owners don’t hire underage employees.

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Sex & Massage Parlors

Congressman Matt Gaetz pointed out there are an estimated 9,000 illicit massage parlors in the U.S.–more than Starbucks’ 8,222 locations. In 2018, Florida had 376 cases of human trafficking reported to the national hotline. Only California (760) and Texas (455) had more.

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Hillsborough summer camp staffers may be trained to identify signs of human trafficking

Data shows that Hillsborough County has one of the highest occurrences of human trafficking in the nation, and one county commisioner is trying to shine light on an industry that’s thrived in the shadows. Commissioner Kimberly Overman wants to train Hillsborough County Parks Department’s summer camp staffers on how to spot the tell-tale signs of abuse. and what to do if they suspect something is wrong.

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Officers learn human trafficking takes many forms

A Bay Area nonprofit is helping law enforcement officers look beyond a simple traffic stop or domestic violence call to spot the signs of human trafficking.

Officers don’t have to be in a special trafficking unit to learn what to look for to spot a potential victim using a new, free online certification program through U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. It covers human trafficking in the forms of labor, sex, cyber, forced marriage and servitude. It was created to be accessible for all law enforcement officers.

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The evil web of human trafficking

The most recent case of human trafficking that I have been involved in, and they are many, is that of Angelica, a 15-year-old girl sold by her mother to her employer. This boss is a rough, crude man, the owner of several mini-buses, from which he earns a lot of money that enables him to buy children for sexual abuse.The most recent case of human trafficking that I have been involved in, and they are many, is that of Angelica, a 15-year-old girl sold by her mother to her employer. This boss is a rough, crude man, the owner of several mini-buses, from which he earns a lot of money that enables him to buy children for sexual abuse.

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Bill that would have Florida schools teach about human trafficking moves to House floor

Children in Florida public schools would be taught about the dangers and warning signs of human trafficking under legislation headed to the state House floor. The House Education Committee voted unanimously Tuesday for the bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Patricia Williams of Fort Lauderdale. The measure would include human trafficking in the health classes currently taught in Florida public schools.

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Deputies: Tampa firefighter among men arrested for soliciting sex

A Tampa firefighter was among four men arrested for solicitation in Hillsborough County, according to the sheriff’s office. Brian Hatzler, 46, is a Tampa Fire Rescue firefighter. The sheriff’s office says he was in his duty uniform when he solicited sexual acts from an undercover detective. Hatzler was arrested along with 30-year-old Curtis Hargrove, 44-year-old Lucio Martinez and 25-year-old Jawuan Hicks.

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Florida gets tougher on massage-parlor sex

When Florida authorities shut down 10 massage spas last month and charged hundreds of men with buying sex, they broke a longstanding pattern of meting out minor charges and punishment for owners, letting patrons off scot-free and turning a mostly blind eye to signs of human trafficking.

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Teen killed in Gulfport double homicide was named as human trafficking victim, court records say

In the days and weeks before the victim of a double homicide died by gunfire, he had been posting videos on social media showing off cash and drugs. In the public Facebook videos, Maxwell Phillips, 31, flashes wads of cash — mostly $100 bills — and sings along to music while smoking marijuana blunts. Filming most of the videos is Brooklyn Alsobrooke, now 18, and the other victim of the double homicide just after midnight Wednesday in the 3000 block of 8th Avenue, not far from Central Elementary School.
But court records obtained by the Sun Herald show she also was named as a 17-year-old victim in a human trafficking case that Phillips was arrested in on July 17, 2018.

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Florida Sex Trafficking Bust Sheds Light On Victims’ Needs

When authorities busted what they say is a multimillion-dollar human-trafficking and prostitution ring in Jupiter last month, law enforcement spoke out against the horrors endured by women taken as literal sex slaves. The trafficking, they said, was not a “victimless crime.” But nearly two weeks later, the majority of the victims remain behind bars as law enforcement seeks their cooperation in the case.

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Human trafficking probe’s focus: Target the johns

In recent years, law-enforcement agencies have focused on arresting and prosecuting human traffickers who profit from exploiting others. But a months long investigation in Martin and Palm Beach counties,was one of the largest in recent memory that targeted the buyers whose dollars allow trafficking organizations to thrive.

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Sheriff: Women are the victims

The “zombie-like” victims in the South Florida spa sex case in which Patriots owner Robert Kraft is entangled could be part of a $20 million human trafficking ring with ties to China where “the men are the monsters,” a local sheriff says.

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How Vero Beach police landed the only human trafficking charge in recent Florida busts

Her name is Lanyun Ma, and she’s a 49-year-old Orlando woman who ran East Spa in downtown Vero Beach. “It’s very difficult to charge somebody with that,” acknowledged Detective Sgt. Phil Huddy, who supervises the detective division at the Vero Beach Police Department. Ma was seen transporting numerous women with suitcases to and from the spa who are believed to be victims of human trafficking, according to her arrest warrant.

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Robert Kraft’s arrest shines spotlight on real victims of sex trade

“Unfortunately, it takes something like a Robert Kraft or someone of celebrity status to get the attention on human trafficking that it deserves, said Keven Malone President and Co-founder of the U.S. Institute Again Human Trafficking. Malone also said,“In a lot of these so-called massage parlors that a lot of the women are not there by choice. They are being forced and coerced — especially in this situation, those women were enslaved. This is human trafficking.”

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Kraft case casts uncomfortable spotlight on depths of massage parlor sex trafficking in US

Kevin Malone, president and co-founder of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking told Fox News, “Florida’s trafficking bust in massage parlors is just the tip of the iceberg. This is happening all across the country.” Noting that many of the IMBs are managed by Chinese organized crime syndicates, Malone said the women involved “are taken usually to New York, where they are trained what to do.

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Hillsborough County looks to form human trafficking task force

Hillsborough County leaders are looking at ways to fight back against human trafficking. At Wednesday’s Board of County Commissioner meeting, Commissioner Kimberly Overman proposed forming a task force to combat the crime, saying she wants to send a clear message. Tampa Bay has zero-tolerance toward human trafficking in general, whether it be for sex trafficking or labor traffic,” Overman said. “Hillsborough County is not ground zero, but close, to some serious problems that are causing a great deal of pain in our community.”

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