MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade police have arrested fourSouth Floridamen in connection with an alleged child prostitution ring that targeted teenagers in foster care.
29-year-old Eric George Earle, 30-year-old Anturrell Nathaniel Dean, 34-year-old David Zarifi and 65-year-old Willie Calvin Bivens now face felony charges for conspiracy, racketeering and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Investigators say they recruited one teenager living in a group home, who then recruited others to have sex with men for money.
“They used and abused them and sold them like commodities,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. Although she describes all of the suspects as predators who targeted vulnerable, teenaged foster kids, she believes Earle was the ring leader.
“He is the one who would befriend the girls. He started with the first person. He recruited her, trained her and convinced her to be a recruiter for other girls.”
According to the arrest affidavit, customers were charged $100 to have sex with one of the teenage girls. It states the victims would then receive $30-$40 out of the $100 in exchange for performing the sexual act.
There are four confirmed victims involved in the alleged prostitution ring, and the Rundle believes there could be more victims.
When asked if there should have been better supervision at the group home where the victims live, Esther Jocobo with the Department of Children and Families replied “We do not have the ability to lock down a child and/or tell them not to go to particular places.”
“There’s a very particular criteria that allows us to put them in a placement where you can lock them down. There’s very little, until now with the Child Safe Harbor Act, we’ve been able to do to stop that from happening.”