Two arrested in Sarasota on human trafficking charges
SARASOTA - Two Sarasota men are arrested on charges of human trafficking after police say they brought a young female victim to a hotel and intended to give her drugs to perform sex acts.
On July 30th, Sarasota Police detectives arranged for 28-year-old suspect Jeremy Johnson to bring a female to an undisclosed location for the purposes of prostitution. When he arrived, Johnson was joined by other suspect, Zolia Williams. Johnson and Williams provided drugs for an unknown amount of money for the sole purpose of having the victim consume drugs while performing sexual acts.
"The fact that we were even able to make an arrest on this case is very significant for us. It is something that we do come across and that's why we partner with organizations like Selah Freedom to provide assistance to the victims in these cases," Sarasota Police Officer Sean Carter said.
"The sting operation provided by the Sarasota Police Department last night is fantastic and it's those kind of collaborative efforts with our community partners that Selah Freedom is so passionate and active about because we're able to track down the perpetrators of human trafficking with these traffickers and rescue the victims," Selah Freedom's Sarah Pretorius said.
The Police Department believes that helping the victims of crimes like this is one of its top priorities.
"It is difficult to think about and realize that it does happen and we do work really hard in trying to get them off the streets but in the mean time working to get the males who are exploiting them just to not only help them but get rid of the people who are actively involved in the trafficking," Carter said.
Human trafficking is nothing to be taken lightly.
"It is a horrific crime and the impacts of the trauma and the abuse that the victims feel are long lasting which is why direct service providers like Selah Freedom are vital to help heal the victim and rehabilitate them back into society," Pretorius said.