MBI tracks down 2 human trafficking suspects in Orange County

A woman told investigators her cell phone and ID were taken, and she was forced to be a prostitute in several cities, including Orlando.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation tracked down two human trafficking suspects in Orange County with the help of a woman who said she was forced to be a prostitute in several cities, including Orlando.

The woman told investigators her cellphone and ID were taken, and she was forced to be with men.
She was even advertised online.

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MBI agents said they found those online ads, went undercover and made contact which led to the arrest of two people on felony charges.

Investigators arrested Desmund Bell, who introduced himself to the woman as "God" and "Divine."
The woman told investigators she and another woman were later "directed by Divine how to walk the streets as prostitutes" on South Orange Blossom Trail.

“This is the underbelly, if you will, of what happens in Orange County,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

It’s a problem a human trafficking task force with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation is working to tackle.

“Unfortunately, it happens all the time,” said MBI Director Ronald Stucker.

In this recent MBI case, the victim said Bell “rose his hand and threatened to hit her if she did not engage in prostitution.”

Bell is accused of taking her from Florida to cities in Texas and Louisiana, and then back to Orlando where she was “posted online in prostitution advertisement,” and forced to have sex with clients for cash that she turned over to Bell.

“Some of these young women, some of these teenagers, they may be participating in commercial sex acts, sometimes between 10 and 20 times a day,” said Stucker.

This particular victim was able to escape, but that doesn’t always happen.

The MBI has the only full-time human trafficking analyst in the state of Florida to help solve more cases and focus on dozens of tips.

"Over 200 tips a year, so you figure about every two out of three days of the year, we're getting a new tip," Stucker said.

Both suspects are facing human trafficking charges with a bail set at $100,000.