ORLANDO, Fla. - Polk County
sheriff's detectives have arrested and charged two Orlando men with human trafficking, among other charges.
The investigation began on May 8, when the PCSO conducted an extensive undercover prostitution investigation that resulted in 92 arrests on charges of solicitation of prostitution or deriving proceeds from prostitution.
During that investigation, a 15-year-old girl was charged with prostitution, along with 48-year-old Michael Kempfer, of Orlando.
Authorities said Kempfer drove the girl to the undercover location but claimed he wasn't involved in "pimping her out" or in human trafficking. He was arrested for driving with a suspended license and deriving proceeds from prostitution and was sentenced to 40 days in the Polk County Jail.
Polk County detectives said the 15-year-old girl was subsequently identified as a victim of lewd battery and human trafficking.
Working with gang detectives from the Orange County Sheriff's Office, her "pimp" was positively identified as 22-year-old Montavius Rakeem Postell, also known as "King," who lived with Kempfer in
According to the affidavit, Postell was arrested by the OCSO and charged with selling cocaine in March 2013. Authorities said that during his incarceration,
Postell made 25 calls, most to the victim, discussing her ability to raise his bond money by prostituting herself.
Authorities said Postell threatened the girl to coerce her to prostitute herself and turn the money over to him.
During a search of the suspects' home, authorities found crack cocaine, two loaded handguns, several photos of the teen victim and Postell, and gang
Investigators said at least one other child and two or three adult women may have also been kept in the home as sex slaves.
Central Florida is known for the millions of tourists who come in for theme parks and other attractions, which makes it a
hotbed for trafficking due to all of the people coming in and out, authorities said.
"Any time you have all that good, you always have bad apples who want to take advantage of it," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Judd said Kempfer and Postell not only kept the teen girl at the home, they beat and tattooed her and drove her to meet men for sex.
"She was a victim of human trafficking. At 15, she was a slave, and she was branded," said Judd.
Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation investigators also arrested two others they said forced a 16-year-old Orange County girl into sex by threatening to deprive her of food and post compromising pictures of her on the Internet.
"Through fear tactics the traffickers and pimps use, (the victims) are in fear for their life," said Tomas Lares, of the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force.
Lares said the transient nature of central Florida means there are plenty of customers coming and going, and it's easy for traffickers to hide the victims by moving them from place to place.
"Whenever there's a big sporting event or big convention, the traffickers take advantage of that," said Lares.
Postell has been charged with human trafficking, lewd and lascivious battery on a victim aged 12 to
16, and promoting sexual activity of a victim under 16.
Kempfer was also charged with human trafficking.
Authorities said Postell has been arrested more than 50 times in Florida.
Behind California and Texas, Florida is the third biggest state for human trafficking, officials said.