Miami-Dade County, FL

Tactics Used

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

Miami-Dade County is located in the southeastern part of Florida and is the state’s most populous county with a population of about 2.717 million. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been reported as serious problems in the county for several years. In addition to city-level efforts to combat prostitution in the communities of Coral GablesHomesteadMiami, Miami Beach, Miami Shores, North Miami, Sunny Isles Beach, the Miami-Dade County Police Department occasionally conducts auto seizures, reverse stings, and web-based reverse stings in unincorporated areas, or stage the operations in undisclosed locations throughout the county. For example, in 2005, Miami-Dade County, along with numerous other counties and cities across the state of Florida began a “towing enforced” tactic where officials started to impound the cars of arrested sex buyers in attempts of reducing the demand for commercial sex and sex trafficking. On April 20th, 2012, the MDCPD conducted a series of street-level reverse stings known cumulatively as “Operation Dear John.” Police, utilizing several undercover female officers as decoys, arrested 22 male sex buyers in a single block. The Miami-Dade State Attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle said that the operation was a joint effort designed to put pressure on sex buyers, “feeding the bedrock of human trafficking.” The men’s names and other identifying information were not made public. Additionally, in 2018, FBI agents along with county officials from Miami-Dade County and Broward County successfully rescued four teenage girls from alleged sex traffickers during Super Bowl LIV week in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Officials arranged an undercover meeting at a local hotel for after finding an online prostitution ad on the Skip The Games site. The prostituted woman officials met at the local hotel assisted in the rescue of four teenage girls who had been recruited and groomed on Facebook by the sex traffickers. The FBI reported that the victims were being sex trafficked online, with one victim appearing in over 250 online ads in Connecticut, Texas and Florida.

In May of 2021, a Miami-Dade licensed real estate agent was arrested for money laundering and operation of two brothels within the county. According to the arrest report from the State Attorney Office’s Human Trafficking Task Force, the agent was had been running two brothels in Miami-Dade County: one disguised as a spa which was located next door to a child day care center and one operating out of an apartment in a luxury community in Dorla, FL. Authorities stated that the agent had been operating the illicit business for more than two years, and when arrested in 2018 for unrelated charges, had his daughter serve as the primary operator. The real estate agent told officials that he would recruit women through advertisements that he found on Craigslist. Officials suspected the agent of attempting to flee the country after he requested ledgers be destroyed, withdrew $25,000 in cash, and tried to get his passport through “hidden means.” Investigators intercepted the fugitive attempt and arrested the agent for more than hundred charges, including numerous felony counts for money laundering and one that lists over 75 counts of receiving sex buyers for the purpose of prostitution under Florida statute 796.07(c).

Neighborhood Action:

In 2020, residents of the Flagami neighborhood, an area well-known for issues regarding prostitution and other illicit activities, began to take action to deter people from engaging in prostitution-related activities within the neighborhood. Residents reported having emailed the City of Miami numerous times without receiving a response. After a local news source spoke with concerned residents of the Falgami, the news source reached out to District 4 Commissioner Manolo Reyes in attempts to gather more insight into who the residents need to contact in order to have their concerns heard and alleviated. Commissioner Manolo Reyes commented, “They want to stop the traffic, but there’s a process. I welcome that process. I welcome that they start the process.” The process in which Commissioner Reyes is referring to, requires the neighbors to sign a petition to demonstrate that concerns are community-wide concerns, then a traffic study would have to be conducted, and then finally neighbors would have to vote on whether or not to block certain avenues. Residents of Flagami have reported being flashed, witnesses public sex acts, and stepping on used condoms. Residents welcome the challenge and have already started the process of reaching out to others to sign a petition.

John School:

In 2018, The Office of the State Attorney introduced Miami-Dade County introduced a pre-trial diversion (PTD) program for non-violent first-time offenders facing misdemeanor prostitution charges. The program, called Demand More, is the first of its kind for Miami- Dade County, and seeks to educate those charged with these types of misdemeanor violations about the dangers and realities associated with prostitution and human trafficking.

Demand More has two tracks: one for prostituted persons and one for sex buyers. For prostituted persons, it provides counseling and ancillary services to assist them in overcoming the challenges that have kept them in the cycle of prostitution. For sex buyers, it exposes them to their role in the perpetration of prostitution and the horrors of human trafficking. Overall the program aims at reducing demand for prostitution and sex trafficking through educational services for both prostituted persons and sex buyers in Miami-Dade County.

Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Web-Based Reverse Stings: 

Auto Seizure:

Cameras:

Neighborhood Action:

John School:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State Florida
Type County
Population 2717000
Location
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