A suspect is wanted and multiple others are facing charges related to two separate human trafficking investigations in Miami-Dade County, authorities said.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced the arrests in a news release Wednesday.
According to the release, the first investigation began Monday when Doral Police officers responded to an apartment after a man called and reported that his ex-girlfriend needed help and “was in fear for her life.”
The state attorney’s office Human Trafficking Task Force began looking into the case and discovered the victim had arrived in Miami on April 8 and gone to Miami Beach the following day with some friends.
While there, the victim spotted a green Porsche being driven by 35-year-old Devon Jerome Matthews, and approached him to ask about the car.
The two exchanged numbers and became romantically involved, authorities said.
The victim had a falling out with her friends, and Matthews told her she could stay with him. When she showed up at the apartment in Doral, Matthews told her he’s a pimp and explained how he has lots of girls who work for him using VIP rooms at local strip clubs, authorities said.
Matthews introduced the victim to 25-year-old Larresha Paul, and told her Paul would be giving her instructions on working at the clubs, authorities said.
The victim said she decided to take a nap and when she woke up, she was naked and realized she’d been sexually battered, authorities said.
When the victim overheard Paul saying that she should be beaten, she was able to contact her ex-boyfriend, who contacted police, officials said.
Paul was arrested on numerous charges including human trafficking, sexual battery and directing another person into prostitution.
Matthews is currently a fugitive with an arrest warrant for human trafficking, sexual battery and multiple prostitution charges, authorities said.
The second human trafficking investigation dates back to January and involves three suspects.
The investigation began when Medley Police responded to a hotel on Northwest South River Drive on Jan. 20 after receiving a call about an alleged armed robbery.
The investigation led to the arrests of 40-year-old Raul Antonio Jimenez-Rodriguez and 30-year-old Grettel Caceres-Crego, who face human trafficking and other charges.
According to police, the 19-year-old victim said Jimenez-Rodriguez and Caceres-Crego would post advertisements for her online and transport her to different hotels and motels in Miami-Dade County to engage in prostitution.
The victim said Jimenez-Rodriguez would lace her marijuana with crystal methamphetamine, unbeknownst to her. The drugs would “alter her state of mind and reality,” allowing Jimenez-Rodriguez to facilitate more prostitution arrangements for her, a police report said.
About a month after the initial arrests, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said 33-year-old Junet Infante-Madruga was arrested for her alleged involvement in trying to have the teen change her statements made to police and to destroy possible electronic evidence.
Recorded jail phone calls between Infante-Madruga and Jimenez-Rodriguez outlined the attempts to destroy evidence against Jimenez-Rodriguez, as well as instructions on how to intimidate the teen into recanting her police statements by threatening her family, prosecutors said.
In Wednesday’s news release, authorities said Infante-Madruga has now been arrested in connection with the human trafficking activity.
Jimenez-Rodriguez is also facing additional human trafficking and deriving support from proceeds of prostitution charges, prosecutors said.
“Sadly, there does not appear to be an end to those human traffickers, who wish to sell and exploit others for a quick profit,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “Fortunately, Miami-Dade has effective police agencies, like the Doral Police Department and the Medley Police Department, who understand the signs of possible human trafficking and are quick to bring in the expertise of my Human Trafficking Task Force to fight these crimes. Traffickers should take notice; our law enforcement agencies are united in our efforts to end Human Trafficking.”