Prosecutors: Prostitution Ring Catered to Florida Farmworkers

AP, Oct. 18

TAMPA, Fla.—Federal and state authorities have broken up what they described as a prostitution ring that catered to farmworkers in central Florida, authorities said Tuesday.

Federal and local law enforcement agents have arrested 11 suspects on charges of conspiracy to transport individuals for sexual activity. Another 43 people were arrested for being in the United States illegally during searches that were made in Hillsborough, Orange and Polk counties last Saturday. Authorities recovered more than $32,000 in cash, jewelry and two luxury vehicles, federal prosecutors said.

Frank Figueora, the special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Tampa, said the suspects exploited the immigration system by using the foreign-born women as prostitutes. Women were recruited from Chicago and Puerto Rico, the indictment said.

Most of the criminal suspects were from the Dominican Republic and Honduras.

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