|December 28, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi and Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey today announced the arrest of an Ocala man on charges related to human trafficking. Ryan Gemelle Poole faces one count of human trafficking, one count of deriving support from proceeds of prostitution and one count of using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.
The five-month long investigation revealed that Poole allegedly exploited a female victim to include taking control of all of her money, selling her and forcing her to participate in numerous acts of prostitution in Alachua, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Marion and Orange counties. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution is the prosecuting authority for the charges in this case.
“Human trafficking is an abhorrent crime and the allegations in this case are sickening—further proving that we must do everything in our power to eliminate human trafficking in Florida,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Working with our great law enforcement partners like Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the subject of this investigation was arrested and justice will be served.”
“This arrest is a result of combined efforts of several agencies and an engaged public in Marion County working in partnership to identify these cases and deal with them as proactively as possible,” said Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey. “Having dedicated law enforcement officers trained in the identification, investigation and prosecution of these unique cases is paramount to our success. I am proud of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office who work so hard to protect these victims and to bring their exploiters to justice.”
According to the investigation, Poole promoted the victim on multiple sex websites and profited from her actions depicted on those websites. Poole also solicited a second woman to participate in these online sexual activities but after one session the second woman decided to separate herself from Poole and his victim.
Detectives believe that Poole may have other victims who have not been identified or have not yet come forward. Anyone with additional information about this case is urged to call Marion County Detective Zackary Hughes at 352-369-6805.