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Miami Is a Hot Spot for Human Trafficking

March 07, 2024

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Florida ranks third in the country in human trafficking cases according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, with Miami-Dade County having the most reported cases in the state. As a result, local law enforcement authorities, including the state attorney's office, are focusing their efforts on addressing the crisis. Statistics are currently showing that Miami is the number 5 city for human trafficking in the United States. Miami International Airport is claimed to be a hub for human trafficking cases because of the heavy domestic and international travel.

Law Enforcement Arresting a Man Involved in Human Trafficking Crimes in Miami
"Human trafficking is a reality in our community," said Det. Jessica Barrel from MDPD's Organized Crime Bureau's Human Trafficking Squad. "It's a daily crime hidden in our backyard." Human trafficking is a major concern, especially in a city with heavy tourism like Miami. According to the Department of Justice, South Florida is the "third-busiest area for sex trafficking in the United States." The Florida Legislature and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle have acknowledged this growing concern and have actively taken measures to stop trafficking in Florida.

To prove the crime of human trafficking, the State must prove that a person (1) knowingly or with reckless disregard engaged in human trafficking and (2) the human trafficking was for commercial sexual activity in which a child (any person under 18 years of age) was involved. Generally, commercial sexual activity relates to prostitution and the operation of locations used to commit prostitution. Consent by the child is not a defense as the State of Florida has deemed that any individual under the age does not have that right as a minor.

Human Trafficking Victim To Represent Commercial Sexual Operations in Miami
Defenses exist under the current state of the law if there's proof that (1) the defendant had reasonable cause to believe that his or her actions were necessary to preserve the minor from danger to his/her welfare and (2) the minor was taken away at his/her own instigation, without enticement and without purpose to commit a criminal offense with or against the minor, and the defendant establishes that it was reasonable to rely on the instigating acts of the minor.

Only experienced counsel familiar with human trafficking prosecutions have the knowledge to effectively represent the individuals who find themselves charged with this offense. If you need representation regarding a situation involving human trafficking offenses, give Donet, McMillan and Trontz, PA a call (305) 444-0030. We have many years of experience dealing with serious and life-altering allegations.
Categories: Sex Offenses
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