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March 12, 2013

Giorgio Baker of Davie, Florida Arrested for Procuring a Minor for Prostitution

Giorgio Baker of Davie, Florida was arrested Wednesday after he was accused of coercing a 16-year-old girl into prostitution, news sources report. Baker, 27, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of procuring a minor for prostitution, direct promotion of sexual performance of a child, recruiting or harboring transportation for prostitution, and rent for prostitution. A judge ordered that Baker be held without bail. Reports did not specify whether Baker has hired a lawyer.

Reports say Baker came under police radar when he committed an unspecified traffic violation in Plantation on Wednesday. An officer pulled him over, and as the officer approached Baker's car, he noticed a girl sitting in the passenger's seat. A county judge later said the girl was garbed in a "tight negligee" despite the cold weather and was wearing "excessive makeup."

The officer asked the girl's age and she reportedly said she was 18. However, the officer somehow discovered that the girl's actual age was 16. The officer also learned that the girl "was acting as a prostitute and giving [Baker] the money [she earned]," the county judge said. The officer cited Baker for driving on a suspended license and not wearing his seatbelt and took him into custody.

It is unclear where the girl's parents or guardians are, and it is not know whether someone came forward to claim her following Baker's arrest. It is also unclear how the teen met Baker and how long she has been working as prostitute. Baker does not appear to have made a statement regarding the allegations.

In other news, Miguel Cabezola of Lake Worth was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly called 911 even though officers were already at his home, reports say. Cabezola, 45, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of calling 911 for non-emergencies. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail. It is also not yet known whether he has hired legal representation.

According to reports, Cabezola shared his home on 12th Avenue South with his friend Kenneth Garner. Around 12:00 Wednesday morning, Cabezola called police and asked for help removing Garner at his home. It is not known what led to the eviction.

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September 20, 2012

81 Fraudulent Message Therapy Licenses Suspended in Florida

The state of Florida announced Wednesday that 81 fraudulent message therapy licenses within the state had been suspended, citing a possible link between the fraudulent licenses and human trafficking, news sources indicate. One of those licenses reportedly belonged to massage therapist Lin Hu, who operated out of Tampa Bay area. No arrests were made regarding any of the suspensions, though legal charges may come forward as the investigation continues. Sources say the crackdown was part of an initiative to eliminate human trafficking related to illegal businesses.

Reports show that the state of Florida has specific requisitions in regards to obtaining a massage therapy license. This includes completing a medical error avoidance course, passing at least on certified exam, and providing records that show approval from a massage therapy college. The strict regulations prevent superfluous certifications from being given out.

Reports say that executives from the Clearwater and South Florida Human Trafficking Task Forces, with the aid of the state's Department of Health, contributed to the investigation that led to the suspensions. During their examination, investigators say they discovered that over 200 practitioners had acquired their licenses under fraudulent pretenses. While details of the report are still largely unavailable, the detectives alluded that the therapists filed duplicates of genuine records they received from a massage academy in Florida. However, officials were unwilling to name the school during their announcement on Wednesday, as the investigation is still in the works.

A spokesperson affiliated with the investigation explained to the press that one particular administrator at the unidentified academy was behind the fraudulent records; that administrator was left unnamed as well. According to reports, the administrator used his position at the school to sell the forged transcripts to the supposed therapists for as much as $15,000 apiece. As of now, it does appear as though any other administrators were aware of the illicit activity.

Sources say that these recent suspensions were part of a larger initiative to stop human trafficking in the state of Florida. During the announcement, investigators explained that they believe illegitimate businesses are often hubs for human traffickers. These traffickers allegedly use the businesses to secretly move persons from place to place or even force them into unwarranted labor.

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May 30, 2012

Luis 'Tito' Morales Arrested for Ormond Beach, Florida Child Trafficking

Luis 'Tito' Morales was arrested in Ormond Beach, Florida on Thursday after authorities accused him of child trafficking, according to news reports. Morales, 57, has reportedly been accused of molesting at least six children, is currently facing federal prosecution in Orlando for five counts of transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity. His alleged accomplice, 27-year-old Rebecca Rivera, is apparantly facing extradition to Orlando in connection to two counts of transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity.

If concived as charged, Morales could be sentenced to life in prison. It remains unclear whether he has retained a private criminal defense lawyer. He was denied bail bond and remains incarcerated at Orange County Jail. Rivera was also denied bail, and it is similarly unknown whether she has retained an attorney.

According to press reports, Morales allegedly committed the sex crimes while acting as an Apostle of the En Fuego for Jesus Ministry, which operates out of his Ormond Beach home. The organization's website, enfuegoforjesus.com, refers to Morales as 'Apostle Tito,' his wife as 'Prophet Morales' and encourages viewers to 'contact En Fuego for Jesus for deliverance and healing.' As of now, no charges have been filed against Linda Morales, and she appears to be supporting her husband as he undergoes prosecution.

A U.S. Attorney's Office spokesperson reportedly stated that Morales is suspected of transporting at least six children across state lines and molesting them between 2009 and 2010, implying that he may be facing additional charges. It remains unclear where Morales allegedly found the children and whether the trafficking occurred with parental consent. If so, the parents of the children may also be facing charges.

Morales is reportedly being charged with transporting one girl between Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Arizona, and with transporting another between Florida and Hartford, Connecticuit. The two girls were reportedly 12 and 13 at the time of the alleged offense, and at least one of them was a Florida resident.

According to press reports, Morales acted as an apostle and performed exorcisms in the Carribean and South and Central America. A Honduras TV station reportedly recorded a video of his perfoming one of these exorcisms in Tegucigalpa. Morales may have committed the molestations during such exorcisms, sources indicate. Rivera, the other defendant, also traveled in connection to her role with the church, allegedly claiming that she could cure cancer.

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