PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida law enforcement officials shared more details Friday regarding the arrests of an East Lake fire lieutenant and several others for human trafficking.
It all centered around a 2 years-long investigation into a “middle-teenaged” girl who authorities say was forced into prostitution.
According to Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, the girl’s caregiver created an ad on Backpage.com and set up a number of sexual encounters between the girl and several men, often taking phone calls on the teen’s behalf.
The caregiver would then take the girl to areas outside of Hernando County to meet with men, sometimes leaving her alone to spend the night in hotel rooms. The men ranged in age from 19 to 75 years old, Nienhuis said.
Authorities responded to a tip and found the girl and her caregiver at their home, which had cement floors, no appliances and was covered in animal feces. The only clean bedroom belonged to the alleged trafficker, authorities said. The victim was taken to a shelter specializing in human trafficking victims.
Multiple agencies, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Children and Families were involved in the investigation, which has thus far resulted in the arrests of nine individuals.
At a press conference Friday, Nienhuis named several men who were charged, including East Lake Fire Lieutenant Matthew Doyle.
Doyle, 39, of Spring Hill, was arrested on charges of human trafficking, lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim between 12 and 16 years old and unlawful use of a two-way communications device. The East Lake Tarpon Special Fire Chief Tom Davis said he suspended Doyle without pay as soon as the agency was informed of the charges.
“This is a deeply troubling report. We are fully cooperating with authorities and will assist the investigation in any way we can,” Davis said in a statement.
The father of three was booked into the Hernando County Jail, where he is being held without bond.
Nienhuis also named Spring Hill restauranteur Luigi Barile, 38, adding that the allegations he faces were “particularly disturbing.” He allegedly brought three friends with him to use the victim’s services in Ocala. All four men exchanged money for sex, according to Nienhuis.
Lachman Kaladeen, 49, an undocumented immigrant living in Wesley Chapel is also facing charges. Nienhuis said Kaladeen was deported once in 2005 and he is confident he will be deported after his arrest.
The following men are also facing charges:
- Joseph Andrew Easton, 24
- Bryan Joseph Giguire, 46
- James William Hancock, 67
- Shawn Christopher Henson, 39
- Lawrence Edward Kemble, 70
- Jason Michael Raulerson, 46
All nine men are charged with human trafficking (no bond), conspiracy to commit human trafficking, which carries a $500,000 bond, unlawful use of a two-way communication device ($50,000 bond), and lewd and lascivious battery ($100,000 bond).
The victim is now said to be doing exceptionally well and is back in school pursuing her studies with hopes of one day becoming a social worker, Nienhuis said. She is even learning piano.