MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. — A 17-year-old boy has been charged with sex trafficking and a host of other offenses after South Florida authorities accused him of selling a 14-year-old girl on social media for money and drugs.
Javier Quintero’s arrest on human trafficking charges was announced Thursday, WPLG reported.
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said the 14-year-old runaway was in the process of being sold into prostitution when her office’s Human Trafficking Task Force along with the police departments of Miami Springs, Miami Beach and the city of Miami intervened to rescue the child.
A family member of the girl called police and told officers that the girl was believed to be in a hotel room being advertised for prostitution on social media, WSVN reported.
The family member showed officers a specific Instagram account that authorities linked to Quintero, WPLG reported.
Police then located the girl and learned upon interviewing her that a friend introduced her to Quintero after she left home following a family dispute. The two then developed a relationship, and Quintero told the girl she could make money prostituting herself, WSVN reported.
“This situation is every parent’s worst nightmare,” Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “That is why the work of our Human Trafficking Task Force is so important. Children like this, our children, can be lost so easily. But I and our law enforcement partners are determined to keep that from happening. Our children’s futures are just too valuable.”
The victim told authorities that despite knowing she was a minor, Quintero set up all of her contacts, which he referred to as “dates,” on social media; instructed her on how to handle the transactions; and provided the hotel room, transportation, drugs, alcohol and social media platforms for the operation, WSVN reported.
The victim stated she had as many as five “dates” in one day, the TV station reported.
According to WPLG, the victim stated cocaine, MDMA and Percocet were among the drugs Quintero provided.
The charges against Quintero include human trafficking, interference with the custody of a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a child and possession of materials displaying a sexual performance by a child, WSVN reported.
© 2020 Cox Media Group