Miami Gardens, FL
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Miami Gardens is a suburb about halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale located in Miami-Dade County, FL, with a population of approximately 111,000 residents. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have recently been documented in the city. Among the more serious issues surrounding the commercial sex market in the city is the sex trafficking of adults and minors. For example, in 2017, Miami Gardens Police Department conducted a sex trafficking investigation after receiving reports that two women were kidnapped and being sex trafficked by three offenders. The investigation was initiated after a man in Pennsylvania claiming to be the boyfriend of one of the victims received a message on social media from one of the women accusing three individuals, one man and two women of abducting and sex trafficking her and another woman. According to reports, the man first met the two women outside of a drug rehabilitation center, and offered them a place to stay upon their release. Upon arriving to his home, the women were raped by the man, sex trafficked, and threatened with violence if they attempted to leave the home. Police believe that the man posted ads of the women on backpage.com. As a result of the investigation, police rescued the two victims and arrested the two female sex traffickers. The male sex trafficker was not in the home at the time of the initial search of his home in 2017. However, in November of 2018, police were able to locate and arrest the male sex trafficker.
In 2021, a federal grand jury indicted two South Florida residents, one resident from Miami Gardens and the other from Hollywood, in connection with the alleged sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl. According to allegations in the criminal complaint affidavit previously filed in this case, the victim had runaway from her group home, with no place to stay, when she met the convicted offenders in December of 2020. After the male sex trafficker offered the girl a couch to sleep on and a place to stay, he raped her. According to the affidavit, in the days that followed, the two offenders sex trafficked the victim in addition to the female sex trafficker creating and disseminating child sex abuse material of the 16-year-old girl on websites known for prostitution. The sex traffickers allegedly sex trafficked the girl on four separate occasions in Broward County, FL. On December 9th, 2020, the victim was able to call a relative which led to her rescue by law enforcement later that day. The sex traffickers were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and one count of sex trafficking of a minor. The female sex trafficker was also charged with production of child pornography. If convicted, both offenders potentially face life-time prison sentences.
Shaming and loss of employment are consequence of buying sex that have occurred within the city. For example, in February of 2015, the Chief of the Miami Gardens Police Department was arrested for allegedly soliciting a prostituted woman. He was immediately fired from the post he had held for less than a year. The man was arrested and jailed during a prostitution sting by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. An arrest report said the man had responded to an ad for escorts on backpage.com and arranged for a liaison with two women at a Dania Beach hotel. Upon paying the undercover police woman $100, he was arrested. The man posted bond and was released early the next day.
Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest; Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.police1.com//fla-police-chief-fired-for-arrest-in-prostitution-sting (2015)
- https://www.sun-sentinel.com/fl-ex-miami-gardens-police-chief-plea- (2015)
- https://www.chicagotribune.com/ (2015)
- https://www.usatoday.com/miami-gardens-florida-police-chief-prostitution// (2015)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://www.nbcmiami.com/2-women-arrested-man-wanted-in-miami-gardens-human-trafficking-case/ (2017)
- https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-gardens (2017)
- https://demand-forum.org/The_Miami_Herald_Fri__Nov_16__2018 (2018)
- https://www.sun-sentinel.com/fl-ne-human-trafficking-indictment- (2021)
- https://www.justice.gov/two-south-florida-residents-indicted-federal-sex-trafficking-charges (2021)
- https://www.local10.com/miami-gardens-woman-accused-of-using-home-she-is-renting-as-brothel/ (2022)
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