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Human trafficking second only to narcotics in illegal trade industry

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Updated: 4/29/2013 10:47 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In hotels and homes across our city, people are being bought and sold.

Sergeant Paul Restivo supervises JSO’s Integrity unit.  He tells Action News human trafficking is second only to narcotics in the illegal trade industry.

I obtained a federal plea deal involving Ruel Brown.  He calls himself a “Super Star Pimp,” and admits to beating and branding a young woman, before forcing her to have sex with strangers at Jacksonville area motels.

“Unlike a kilo of coke you sell you're done.  These guys have a product they can reuse over and over again.  It's not a person, it's a product,” says Sgt. Restivo.

Part 1 of Paige Kelton's Investigation

Restivo says social networking sites are being used to lure young girls in.

“They're checking in about what movie they'll see and where.  You know where this kid is, it is a dangerous tool for these predators.”

We traveled to Tampa to talk with one survivor, who says her father sold her to strangers when she was just 16 years old.

She tells Action News it started with her father sexually abusing her, then progressed to her being prostituted out.

She thinks going after the Johns is just as important as going after pimps.  She says, “They need to realize they are not buying a product, it is a person."
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