NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) — Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement say they busted a Miami-Dade School District employee on Saturday on a human trafficking charge.
FDLE says Samuel Woodside, 45, wanted an underage girl to be his prostitute.
Investigators say Woodside thought he was picking up a 14-year-old girl from Louisiana at a Greyhound bus station in Northwest Miami-Dade. That’s when agents descended upon him.
“Obviously, he was stunned when we took him into custody in front of the bus station and he’s apologetic at this point for his actions,” said Bob Breeden, FLDE Assistant Special Agent In Charge.
FDLE said Woodside began communicating with the person he thought was a 14-year-old girl several weeks ago. Agents say he sent her sexually explicit photos and purchased a bus ticket for her.
“His intentions obviously were to have sex with her and he also had discussed using her to make money, prostituting her out,” said Breeden.
Breeden said Woodside is a custodian at a Miami-Dade elementary school.
Inside Woodside’s truck at the bus station agents say they found a condom along with a Snickers bar and Dr. Pepper. Investigators say that is evidence against him.
“He had stopped and purchased her favorite candy bar and her favorite soft drink and he had it in his truck when he arrived at the bus station to pick her up,” Breeden told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.
Woodside is charged with human trafficking, traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sex, luring and enticing a minor to commit an unlawful act, interference with custody and sending harmful materials to a minor. The human trafficking charge is a 1st degree felony that could be punishable by life imprisonment if convicted.
Louisiana has additional warrants charging Woodside with indecent behavior with a juvenile, human trafficking and computer aided solicitation of a minor.
FDLE agents used their high-tech cyber crime van to search through Woodside’s cellphone and agents also seized computer equipment from Woodside’s home.
Investigators say Woodside thought he was talking to the child but instead was communicating with an undercover officer.
As he was led away, Woodside refused to respond to questions from CBS 4’s Carey Codd.
FDLE says Woodside has lots to answer to and agents say this case shows how focused they are on protecting children.
“Protecting the children of South Florida is our highest priority. FDLE’s Cyber Squad will continue to work diligently to take predators like this off the streets,” said Addy Villanueva, FDLE Miami’s Special Agent in Charge.
Agents want to find out if Woodside’s ever done this before. If you have any information contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.