12 suspects arrested for human trafficking in Jacksonville since 2019, sheriff’s office says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — At least 12 people have been arrested for human trafficking in Jacksonville since 2019, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Here’s a breakdown per year:

  • 2019 – 4 suspects arrested
  • 2020 – 1 suspect arrested
  • 2021 – 3 suspects arrested
  • 2022 – 1 suspect arrested
  • 2023 – 3 suspects arrested


This new information comes as a Jacksonville mother was arrested when police said she tried to sell her 10-year-old daughter in Downtown Jacksonville for $20.

Action News Jax spoke to a human trafficking victim about this case.

“I wasn’t able to speak about it or speak of myself as a human being for 27 years,” Sandra Shin told Action News Jax.

This recent incident occurred on West Union Street when JSO said officers spoke with a local kindergarten teacher who was dropping off food at a nearby homeless shelter. The teacher told officers the mother said, “Take her with you, give me $20, you can have her.”

Investigators also said a man told them the mother offered her daughter up for sex for $5. The man didn’t report it until officers went up to him.

Sandra Shin is the president of Hope 4 Freedom, a group speaking out against human trafficking.

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“It could have been she could have been on drugs; it could have been like my mom and not make payment for something, whatever the reason is, it’s still wrong and that mom needs to get help,” she said.

Police said the 10-year-old was crying, hungry, and looked like she hadn’t been bathed in days. The mother is now facing several charges.

The Sheriff’s Office said it’s a crime that often goes unreported, something Shin hopes changes.

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“I hate to say this, but people have a tendency to say it’s not their business or don’t want to get in trouble,” she said. “I think it’s time for us to wake up, be vigilant, and stop being cowards.”

Shin said she wants the community to get better at prevention, saying if you see something suspicious, contact local police. You can also send an anonymous tip to the National Human Trafficking hotline.

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