Hialeah, FL

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in Florida, with a population of about 234,000 residents, in Miami-Dade County. It is located in southeastern Florida, just northwest of Miami. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city and the surrounding county, resulting in complaints to law enforcement from residents and businesses. Some of the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market include child sex trafficking and the production of child sexual abuse materials (i.e., child pornography), as well as drugs and the shooting of a sex buyer. Child neglect and endangerment has also occurred.

Although there is no record of proactive sting operations in the city, there have been a couple sex buyer arrests as a result of alternative investigations. In February 2015, a man was arrested after being accused of sexually abusing a minor at a local hotel. He was one of three men arrested in Hialeah on charges of human trafficking and contributing to the delinquency of a child. Not much information was released about the investigation, but the motel where the incident occurred seemed a prime location for sex trafficking. With its minimum room rentals of three hours, the motel marketed itself as a “love sanctuary,” offering rooms with mirrors, poles to “arouse your partner with exotic tricks,” and a “love chair” that allowed users to “maneuver into a variety of positions.” After being identified, the sex buyer was arrested and charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious battery. Two other men were arrested on charges of renting a space for prostitution and lewd and lascivious battery. Their identities were released to the press.

In May 2016, a local news investigation revealed that residents and businesses had complained to police about prostitution in the area, but felt nothing had been done to improve the situation. A follow-up article reported that some arrests had been made for prostitution, human trafficking, and racketeering, according to the city’s mayor. One person was also arrested in February for soliciting sex. However, investigative reporters said police had not done an undercover sting that would force many illicit establishments to close.

Key Partners

  • Hialeah Police Department
State Florida
Type City
Population 233876
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