Florida Ranks Third in Nation for Number of Human Trafficking Cases

In 2011, Florida ranked 3rd in the number of calls received by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s hotline, according to the Florida Attorney General’s Office.

Worldwide, the numbers show that 27 million people are enslaved, with the majority of victims being female.

Just last month, three children in Tampa were among 105 rescued nationwide during a sex trafficking sting operation.

The undercover sting, dubbed “Operation Cross Country,” focused on underage prostitution and resulted in the arrest of more than 150 people.

While the National Association of Attorneys General recognizes that human trafficking can occur anywhere, the fact is, there is little states can do about the exploitation of children online.

The Communications Decency Act of 1996 was enacted to protect innocent children from lewd content on the Internet. However, the association says the law does not give states the authority to prosecute those accused of pimping minors or using various websites to advertise underage prostitution.

Recently, the association sent a letter to congressional leaders in Washington with the hopes of persuading them to amend the law so state and local prosecutors can have jurisdiction over human traffickers who promote their businesses online.

In a press release, the Florida Attorney General’s Office explained why the law regarding human trafficking must be changed: “By updating federal law, we can give prosecutors the tools they need to crack down on those who use technology to exploit children,” Attorney General Pam Bondi said. “I am committed to making Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking, and changing this law is just one more way we can work toward accomplishing that goal.”

Human trafficking laws in the state of Florida and throughout the United States are severe, and the consequences of a conviction can include steep fines, time in prison and much more. Having an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer fighting in your corner through the investigation, trial and negotiations can give you the edge you need to defend your freedom.

Human trafficking is considered modern day slavery for the commercial uses of sexual exploitation or enforced labor. Accusations of human trafficking are not taken lightly and the majority of the time these allegations are taken far out of context by law enforcement officers, prosecutors and especially the press. If you or someone you love is facing human trafficking charges, a Florida Human Trafficking Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you mount a solid defense against state or federal charges. Understand that state and federal agencies devote numerous time and countless resources into investigating child trafficking and human trafficking cases. As trial attorneys and former prosecutors, we know what strategies to use to attack the State’s case against you. Contact our offices today online or call 866-608-5529 for a completely confidential and free consultation.

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