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Residents of South Florida expressed relief that President Trump's Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is resigning his post. The Friday announcement was seen as "a victory" by those still angered by Acosta's handling of a 2008 sex crimes case involving wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Acosta is a former federal prosecutor in South Florida. This week he had been under renewed and intense scrutiny stemming from the deal under which Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser sex crimes and served 13 months in county jail, with work release during the day.

Sheriff Chad Chronister talked about the 80 arrests from Operation Trade Secrets at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Monday.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced more than 80 arrests as the result of an ongoing sting investigation targeted at stopping sex trafficking.

When authorities busted what they say is a multimillion-dollar human-trafficking and prostitution ring in Jupiter last month, law enforcement spoke out against the horrors endured by women taken as literal sex slaves. The trafficking, they said, was not a “victimless crime.”

But nearly two weeks later, the majority of the victims remain behind bars as law enforcement seeks their cooperation in the case.

Trying to help human-trafficking victims get a new start in life, Florida lawmakers in 2013 unanimously passed a bill aimed at helping victims expunge records of crimes they might have committed under duress.

Hospitals Gear Up For New Diagnosis: Human Trafficking

Jul 24, 2018

The woman arrived at the emergency department at Huntington Hospital on New York's Long Island after she was hit by her boyfriend during an argument. Her situation raised concerns among the medical staff, which had recently been trained to be on the lookout for signs of sex trafficking.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says it’s the first law enforcement agency in Florida to partner with the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking to use new software to catch people soliciting sex online -- particularly those looking for child victims.

Daylina Miller/WUSF news

On 100 acre stretch of land, seven houses sit in various stages of construction. The exposed, wooden beams are decorated with motivational quotes and Bible verses like, "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom” from Corinthians.


As part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, law enforcement officials and other stakeholders are coming together to make sure Floridians know what to look for to help combat the modern day slavery practice.

Florida’s U.S. Senators, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, joined 18 other Congressional colleagues in filing bipartisan legislation crack down on websites, which knowingly facilitate online sex trafficking. They’re targeting one website in particular.

While Florida’s fight against human trafficking is far from over, officials say one tool is helping combat the modern-slavery practice.

Hundreds of cases of human trafficking are reported in Florida every year, and a new report from 2016 shows the number of human trafficking cases in the state doubled in the last year.

The vast majority of trafficked persons in Florida are young women, and sex trafficking is the most common form of human trafficking in the state, according to a report from Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Families.

New Laws Tackle 'Cyberharassment,' Sex Trafficking

Sep 28, 2015

It will be illegal to post sexually explicit material without the knowledge of people identified in the images, and criminal penalties will increase to try to help curb sex trafficking, as 27 new Florida laws hit the books Thursday.

Florida Matters this week took a deeper look at human trafficking, including the role physicians in the state play in identifying those at risk, and treating those who have been victimized.