Florida Sex Traffickers Arrested, Motel Owner Rescues Two Minors

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Two individuals have been arrested in Florida for allegedly engaging in child sex trafficking. The motel owner played a crucial role in thei...

Rachael Wiley

Rachael Wiley

09 August 2023 12:06 pm

Florida Sex Traffickers Arrested, Motel Owner Rescues Two Minors

Two Arrested in Florida for Child Sex Trafficking

Two individuals have been arrested in Florida for allegedly engaging in child sex trafficking. The motel owner played a crucial role in their capture, leading to the rescue of two minor girls. Ricardo Flores, 44, and Maria Barrios Calero, 44, have been charged with human trafficking.

Incident at Lago Motor Inn

According to motel owner Richard Baron, a man named Flores checked into the Lago Motor Inn near West Palm Beach by himself early on Sunday morning. Shortly after, Baron heard an argument taking place between Flores and another person named Calero, prompting him to knock on their door.

The article discusses an incident involving two young women found in a motel room with a man. The motel owner, Baron, discovered the women sitting on the bed in a yoga position. One of the women, Calero, claimed that the man, Flores, had not paid her. The owner also noticed a condom near Flores, indicating potential sexual activity. The incident suggests a possible case of human trafficking, as the women and Flores were arguing about a transaction.

Quick Action and Police Response

A man named Baron witnessed a disturbing incident involving two young girls and immediately called the police. He also filmed the suspect, Calero, trying to drive away with the girls. The footage was shared with a local news outlet.

The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office's Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit responded to a situation involving two minors who were believed to be victims of commercial sex trafficking. The police department confirmed that the two minors were indeed victims of trafficking. Both the victims and the suspects were taken to a local substation for interviews.

Arrest and Charges

Two individuals, identified as Flores and Calero, have been arrested in Palm Beach County on charges of human trafficking. Flores is accused of paying for sex with two girls, while Calero is facing three counts of human trafficking. The bonds for Calero and Flores have been set at $750,000 and $500,000, respectively. Both individuals are currently being held at the Palm Beach County Jail.

Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking

Baron, an employee at a motel, has been working there for 12 years and has undergone training to identify signs of child sexual exploitation and forced prostitution. State Attorney Dave Aronberg is leading Palm Beach County's human trafficking task force in collaboration with the sheriff's office.

The state attorney, Dave Aronberg, has praised a human trafficking awareness campaign by a task force, stating that it is helping to combat modern-day slavery. The campaign includes posters that have been placed in motels, and Aronberg believes that such initiatives are crucial as law enforcement cannot be present everywhere. He emphasizes the importance of public participation in reporting suspicious activities and urges the placement of mandatory signage in areas where human trafficking victims are commonly found, such as bus stations and rest stops on highways.

Florida's Human Trafficking Problem

Florida is facing a serious issue with human trafficking, ranking as the third highest state for such cases. The Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking reports that victims are often forced into sex trafficking at a young age, with the average age being between 12 and 14 years old. In 2021 alone, over 10,000 cases of human trafficking were identified in Florida through a hotline. This highlights the urgent need for action to combat this problem in the state.

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