NORTH MIAMI (CBS4) – Two North Miami men were taken into custody during an FBI raid on Wednesday morning for allegedly drugging and then videotaping themselves having sex with women.
Emerson Callum and Lavonte Flanders were arrested at a home in the 500 block of NW 189th Street. Callum runs a pornography business and Flanders is a former Miami Beach police officer.
This was not the first time Callum and Flanders have had a run in with the law.
In 2007, they were arrested for similar crimes.
“They said they drugged underaged girls and had sex with her,” said Callum’s brother Gillespie Simpson.
Gillespie said his brother would never do anything like that.
“No he wouldn’t do that because he has so many girls. So much girls, he doesn’t need to do that,” said Simpson.
In the 2007 investigation, at least 20 women said they were lured in with the promise of a modeling career only to find themselves drugged and raped; the crime turned into recorded pornography.
FBI agents spent much of the morning and early afternoon collecting the pornography and any additional evidence from Callum’s home.
“They’re taking everything out of the house like they did the last time,” said Simpson.
Both men appeared before a federal judge in Miami on Wednesday afternoon. The judge continued the hearing until next Monday because both men wanted to be represented by their lawyers.
The allegations against the men stem from complaints made from 2006 to 2007 from women who live in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Those state charges have been dropped. But now the men face a 22 count indictment in federal court.
In 2007, CBS4 interviewed a would-be victim, who asked we not show her face or use her name:
She told us: “It’s sad that people take advantage of people who have dreams.”
She said she was promised thousands of dollars.
“They would cut me a check. If they chose to use my picture they would cut me a check for between 10 and 15 thousand dollars.”
The woman backed out of the deal though, suspicious that Flanders didn’t appear to be big deal promoter he made himself out to be – was driving an old car and wasn’t well dressed.
She learned of his arrest a few weeks later on the TV news.
“He should have life in jail,” she said. “He should never be able to walk free again.”
Sources tell CBS4 news that the case lingered in the state courts for four years while federal investigators built their case against Flanders and Callum. It was moved over into the federal courts because victims were lured across state lines, and because potential penalties can be much more severe in the federal system.
Both men have been charged with sex exploitation, sex trafficking by force or coersion, attempting to recruit, harbor and transport a person to engage in a sex act and drug possession.