Two people were arrested on federal sex-trafficking charges Thursday after a Plantation police officer followed a suspicion during a traffic stop.
According to reports, the officer called in the FBI and Child Exploitation Task Force after the male driver started yelling at his young female passenger to stop talking to the officer.
Agents arrested the 23-year-old driver who has addresses in Fort Lauderdale and Port. St. Lucie, and a 25-year-old woman of Detroit, Mich.
The pair appeared in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on Friday. They are accused of prostituting a 17-year-old Detroit girl from hotels in Plantation, Hollywood and Miami Gardens.
The 23-year-old man, who works at an art gallery, told agents he made extra money by looking up ads for “escorts” on Backpage.com.
Reports indicate that he said he contacted escorts who only accepted “incall,” clients who will travel to meet them, and offered to drive them to “outcall” clients wherever the client wanted to meet. The man said he charged $20 for the round trip ride in his 2005 silver Chevy Impala.
The man told police that he met the girl a few days earlier. He said he drove the girl, and her friend who was over 18, to several “dates.”
Agents arrested the man at a Plantation hotel. The man and the young women told police that the 25-year-old woman was “in charge” of them because they were required to give her money from their earnings.
The 17-year-old girl claims she flew to Fort Lauderdale from Michigan with the man about two weeks ago and the man began posting ads online, which featured provocative photos of the girl in her underwear or bikini.
Agents allege the man charged clients $100 to $175 for the girl’s services. The girl told police that the woman began keeping all of her earnings.
The woman, a janitor at a Detroit car assembly plant, apparently told agents her cellphone was used to post several online ads for the young women since July 7. She denied being involved in prostituting women and said she was unaware the girl was underage.
Agents claim she admitted to sending a text to two young women, saying they had to pay her $400 each for trip expenses.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act made human trafficking a federal offense in 2000. The purpose of this act was to not only help victims in the United States, but to put a stop to human trafficking from overseas as well. If you are convicted of federal sex trafficking, you face up to 15 years in prison.
As soon as you are arrested for sex trafficking, you need to consult with an experienced sex crimes defense attorney. Our Florida Human Trafficking Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton focus on sex crimes defense. Schedule a free initial consultation by contacting us online or by phone at 866-608-5529. We are available nights and weekends, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.
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