Thursday, July 3, 2014

Investigation Leads To Human Trafficking Charge

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution has filed charges stemming from a Collier County Sheriff’s Office human trafficking investigation.

Shawn Anthony Lewis,35, of Lee County, has been charged with one count of human trafficking.

The investigation into Lewis’ activities ultimately grew into a joint investigation involving CCSO, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Statewide Prosecution.

Lewis is currently incarcerated due to a conviction in a statewide prostitution ring operated out of his escort service “Perfect 10 Companions.”  The charges in that case stemmed from an LCSO investigation.

CCSO’s human trafficking investigation began in July 2013, when a victim came forward and provided a statement to deputies during a prostitution operation.

According to the investigation, Lewis used threats, intimidation and coercion to control the victim and force her into sexual activity in Collier, Lee, Sarasota, and Hillsborough counties. Lewis allegedly blackmailed the victim by threatening to send sexual videos of her to her family and the Department of Children and Families in order to try to get them to take her 2-year-old child.

“Florida is a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking and my Office of Statewide Prosecution will aggressively prosecute anyone responsible for this abhorrent crime,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi.

“This investigation demonstrates that human trafficking will not be tolerated in Collier County,” said Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. “This is a crime that exploits human beings for forced sex or labor, and it’s critical that those responsible be brought to justice.”

Human Trafficking is a first-degree felony and is punishable to 30 years in prison. The Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute this case.