Attorney General Pam Bondi Claims Florida is a ‘Hub’ for Human Traffickers

Whittel & Melton 1-866-608-5529 – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys

The problem of human trafficking in the state of Florida is apparently so bad that human trafficking experts have labeled the state as one of the most active spots for people slave-driving in the country.

According to a 2011 study by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Florida takes third place after California and Texas.

State Attorney General Pam Bondi claims this information has led to state officials enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy towards those accused of exploiting others for profit.

New changes to Florida’s human trafficking laws now bring enhanced penalties.

The changes now include the following:

  • The State will now be able to label convicted sex traffickers as registered sex offenders
  • Convicted sex traffickers will be subject to the same monitoring requirements as those convicted of sex crimes, such as sexual abuse and molestation

Bondi will be attending a human trafficking “summit” on Monday along with other officials and advocates to discuss other ways to combat the problem.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Martinez, the number of human trafficking cases being prosecuted at the federal level in Florida is at extreme highs.

Federal prosecutors in south Florida brought six indictments involving human trafficking and convicted 12 people between July 2011 and June 2012.

The Human Trafficking Coordinator for the Southern District of Florida believes these are some of the highest numbers of trafficking prosecutions ever seen in federal court rooms between Key West and Fort Pierce.

Human trafficking cases are being prosecuted throughout the state of Florida more aggressively than ever. Due to the fact that human trafficking involves vulnerable human beings, generally forced into prostitution or unpaid labor, these types of cases usually receive heightened, and many times exaggerated, media attention. In many cases, human trafficking charges are accompanied by other serious criminal charges including conspiracy, fraud, coercion and forgery.

A human trafficking conviction could result in substantial prison time and mandatory registration as a sex offender. The consequences are severe and must be handled accordingly. The Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are equipped to handle whatever criminal charges you are facing, whether at the federal or state level.

If you have been charged with human trafficking, or if you suspect that you are being investigated for involvement in a human trafficking case, contact Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5529.