Foreign exchange students come to U.S. for work, end up as Florida sex slaves

Foreign exchange students come to U.S. for work, end up as Florida sex slaves

MIAMI BEACH — A 46-year-old Miami Beach man is facing life in prison after being convicted of trafficking unsuspecting foreign students in the sex trade.

Jeffrey Jason Cooper was convicted on 11 counts stemming from his operation, during which he would lure students from overseas using the U.S. State Department Summer Work Travel Program, court documents say.

He joined the program under the guise of “Dr. Janardana Dasa,” and pretended his yoga studio was a legitimate business, investigators said.

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When the women arrived, they found out they’d been duped and “that the yoga studio did not exist and that he expected the students to perform erotic massages and commercial sex acts as part of his prostitution and erotic massage enterprise,” a U.S. Department of Justice media release said.

The women were forced to work for Cooper for about three months, until they were rescued by law enforcement, officials said.

“This case is the perfect example of how victims can travel half way around the world in an effort to better themselves only to be defrauded and exploited sexually,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark Selby of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Miami.

Cooper was convicted by a jury Friday and faces a maximum prison sentence of life in prison and a $2.7 million fine.