Category: Florida

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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Robert Kraft got busted. What should happen now?

Kraft’s legal woes may be a boon to the world of late-night comedy and talk radio, but to those touched by the moral rot of human trafficking, there’s nothing amusing about this. Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, FL. is the definition of seedy: a strip-mall storefront where immigrant women were essentially held in captivity, forced to sleep on massage tables and prepare food in a back alley.

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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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Human-trafficking survivor raises awareness for ‘Light Up the Night’ event

Hope Green a human-trafficking survivor says, “there was never really a time when I did not get trafficked, as early as my earliest memory. Hope is one of the guest speakers this Saturday at the “Light Up the Night” event presented by Pasco County, FL. Sheriffs Dept. at Trinity College of Florida. Ticket are free.
Click “read more” for her story and more details on the event.

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Slavery in the shadows: Survivor tells her painful story for Human Trafficking Awareness Month

A modeling gig set up by her boyfriend was the first night Sara was sexually assaulted. What followed was about six months of drug-hazed sexual servitude. The man she thought was her boyfriend became her trafficker. Sara was trafficked for sex from the Naples area to Miami, Tampa and Orlando in 2012. She was 21 at the time. “You don’t have to be broken,” she said. “It’s not the same recovery road for everyone. Not everyone will feel how I feel. Not everyone will surpass trauma the same way. It’s about how bad you want out.”

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St. Petersburg Police arrest 7 people accused of sexually exploiting teen boys

Seven people in St. Petersburg, FL. have been arrested for human trafficking involving two teenage victims. Investigators believe one victim was lured through Discord, an online gaming app that allows direct communication and the other victim was lured from his family with promises of a better life, instead he was moved into a filthy trailer and used as a sex slave for nearly a year.

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St. Pete to become ‘trafficking free zone’

The trafficking free zone is USIAHT’s flagship demand reduction program with a modular approach based upon proven practices from around the United States. St. Pete is the latest city to implement this program declaring themselves a ‘trafficking free zone’. A police task force was designed to focus on arresting and prosecuting sex buyers instead of those who are being sold.

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Lake County man faces trial in human trafficking case

A Clearlake man who was arrested on charges of human trafficking, pimping, pandering and abuse of a dependent adult in February, will face trial in Lake County Superior Court. A preliminary hearing on July 19 found enough evidence existed to proceed with the case against Timothy Lee Williams, said Lake County District Attorney Don Anderson.

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