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Arrests made after prostitution ring sets up shop in abandoned Orange County homes

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators said a teenage victim helped bring down a major sex trafficking ring working out of vacant homes in Orange County.

MBI agents made several arrests after raiding three homes Wednesday, including one in Apopka and two near South Orange Blossom Trail and West Lancaster Road.

Terence D. Burk, 31, and Jeremy Manuel, 28, are violent career criminals accused of using threats and violence to control the prostitutes, and also of supplying them with drugs.

Investigators were looking for 10 people accused of forcing women and girls into prostitution in vacant homes across the county.

Authorities said they were alerted after the teen girl ran away from the ring and told the Department of Children and Families. That's when MBI agents got involved.

During the investigation, agents learned women were advertised as prostitutes on the Internet, and some were routinely transported to area hotels.

Some of the alleged prostitutes are also accused of helping their pimps keep other women captive, and some of the sex customers reported being robbed while visiting the homes.

"This house here in fact is a house that's not leased to anyone," said Lt. Michael Gibson of the MBI. "They move in. They hook up the power, and they live here."

Authorities said the organization was also responsible for stealing numerous flat-screen televisions and committing other crimes at area hotels.

The organization also sold cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, officers said.

"We've had a rash of robberies at these houses all related to the same thing. They'd either commit the act of prostitution or these pimps would rob the johns as they arrived at the houses," said Gibson.

The charges are a result of an MBI investigation, which started in February 2014.