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Jeff Vasilinda becomes the Vasilinda Family’s first published author!

Single Child Victim At Center of Human Trafficking Bust Yielding 178 Arrests

November 17th, 2020 by Jake Stofan

178 have been charged in a major human trafficking bust in the state’s capital city.

The arrests are part of a two year long investigation between local, state and federal agencies.

106 have been charged with felonies and 72 with misdemeanors in this case, including a grade school PE teacher.

Police say others charged come from all walks of life.

“All economic levels and backgrounds. It’s very widespread,” said Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell.

Shockingly all of the arrests are connected to a single victim who was just 13 years old when the investigation began.

Hundreds of pages of arrest records detail grotesque communications between the victim and alleged offenders.

TPD Investigator Elizabeth Bascom first uncovered the victim being sold online.

“The sheer number. The all day, every day, all the time solicitation and sexual activity and talk about cash for money and clearly meeting. I had never seen something just that prolific,” said Bascom.

She says she believes these arrests only scratch the surface of the human trafficking industry in Florida.

“When you can go online and order a pizza and a girl at the same time and the girl shows up to your door before the pizza, our society is in trouble. Okay, that’s where we are. It is unbelievably accessible,” said Bascom.

While identifying information about the victim is confidential, officials told us she is on the road to recovery and doing well given the situation.

We were also told the prosecution phase of this case will likely take many months.

Florida ranks among the top five in the nation for human trafficking.

In 2019 alone 1,887 victims, 427 traffickers and 243 trafficking businesses were identified in Florida in 2019 by the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

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