|May 10, 2013
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi and Clearwater Police Department Chief Anthony Holloway, as well as other partnering agencies, today announced the arrest of two Clearwater individuals for their alleged involvement in a human trafficking ring. Peter D. Kitt (2-12-72) and Shawn D. Franklin (11-30-70) were both charged with racketeering and conspiracy/racketeering, which was predicated on numerous egregious criminal acts, for their alleged participation in the sex trafficking of approximately 16 women. This case was surrounded by force, fraud and coercion by the suspects. The defendants are each being held on $1 million bond. The Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute this case.
“These arrests are the first step in bringing justice and peace to the victims of this alleged sex trafficking ring,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Florida is a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking, and any individuals engaged in this abhorrent crime will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“This is a great day for the task force to take really violent guys off the street and to rescue at least 16 victims. It's hard to believe that these things happen in our towns and in our neighborhoods. Human trafficking is violent and it is real, and we are dedicated to stopping it in the Tampa Bay Area,” stated Clearwater Police Chief Anthony Holloway.
Partnering agencies include:
· Clearwater Police Department
· Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution
· Department of Homeland Security
· Florida Department of Law Enforcement
· State Attorney Bernie McCabe
· Tampa Police Department
· Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
· Largo Police Department
· Pinellas Park Police Department
· St. Petersburg Police Department
In October 2006, the Clearwater Florida Police Department was awarded a Department of Justice grant to fund the creation of the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Task Force on Human Trafficking (CATFHT). The mission of the task force is to identify and rescue victims, create a coordinated law enforcement system to investigate and prosecute these crimes, and to deliver social, legal and immigration services to human trafficking victims in the Clearwater and Tampa Bay area. Human trafficking is the exploitation by force, fraud or coercion of vulnerable people for forced labor, domestic servitude, or commercial sex operations. Human trafficking has become a multi-billion dollar global crime impacting nations - and neighborhoods - around the world.
If someone is a victim, they can contact the Clearwater Area Task Force on Human Trafficking at 727-562-4917 or Florida’s hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.
For more information on Attorney General Bondi’s efforts to make Florida zero-tolerance for human trafficking, visit MyFloridaLegal.com.