By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two people are now charged in Miami-Dade County for taking part in human trafficking.

According to the State Attorney’s Office, Saint Hopson, 32, and his accomplice, Atilia Thomas, 19, are facing felony charges of Human Trafficking, Sexual Battery and Prostitution, among other things.

READ MORE: Crestview Towers Residents Gather To Protest Lack Of Work Being Done To Repair The Property

Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office says Hopson met an 18-year-old girl from Lakeland on a social media dating service in January. He drove up to see her before driving her back to Miami.

“This human trafficking victim was allegedly groomed for sexual exploitation through the use of social media by Saint Matthew Hopson. Despite his name, we are alleging that Hopson’s actions and activities indicate that he is not a saint but an exploiter of the naivete of our young for his personal profit,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “The dangerous misuse of social media cannot be overstated. All parents need to be familiar with these dangers before something terrible or unfortunate occurs to their loved ones.”

Saint Matthew Hopson (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Prosecutors say once they were in South Florida, he took her to the Comfort Inn & Suites hotel in Miami Springs where he allegedly told the victim he managed an escort service and introduced her to Atilia Thomas.

Prosecutors say Hopson allegedly took the victim shopping to Victoria’s Secret and later had her pose for cell phone pictures in the items he purchased for her.

“Without her knowledge or consent, Hopson sent the photographs to Thomas and instructed her to post the victim’s photographs to an online escort service platform named “skipthegames.com”. Thomas allegedly posted the victim’s photographs under the title “I’m new to the game.” The victim had no knowledge she was being offered for sex on-line”, according to prosecutors.

Atilia Cleto Thomas (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Hopson allegedly told the victim that Thomas would be the one having sex with the male clients. Later, Thomas told the victim that she would have to have sex with the customer “or we will lose $600.00.”

Prosecutors say the victim attempted to comply with Thomas’ demands but was unable to fulfill the requests.

“Thomas ended up performing the sexual act on the buyer and the $300 payment was allegedly taken by Thomas and given, in full, to Hopson,” stated prosecutors.

READ MORE: Large Crime Scene In Brownsville After Man Found Shot

Hopson is also accused of having “several instances of sexual contact with the victim against her will.”

He also allegedly told the victim he had just gotten out of prison for human trafficking and kidnapping and he would kill her if she called police.  Prosecutors say Hopson demanded the victim give the address of one of her family members as potential leverage so she wouldn’t call the police.

Hopson and Thomas eventually drove her back to Lakeland, where she contacted police.

On Feb. 10, The victim positively identified both Hopson and Thomas’ photographs while talking to an investigator from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Human Trafficking Task Force.

Two days later, while attempting to retrieve video footage and records from the Comfort Inn & Suites in Miami Springs, a clerk recognized the name and said that Hopson had just left the hotel after not being able to pay for the room. A “BOLO” (Be On The Look-Out) notice was issued for Hopson, Thomas and their car.

The Miami Springs Police Department Crime Suppression Unit officers located the vehicle and Hopson and Thomas were detained.

In the car, investigators found a notebook belonging to Hopson which contained a hand-written list of laws about being a “pimp”, according to prosecutors.

A criminal history check for Hopson revealed a lengthy history of prostitution-related arrests in multiple states and charges for kidnapping. Hopson appears to have recently been released from prison and he indicated that he is currently on probation in North Carolina.

Hopson and Thomas were booked into jail in Miami-Dade.

Saint Hopson was arrested for:

  • 1 count – Human Trafficking – 1st Degree Felony
  • 1 count – Sexual Battery with deadly weapon or serious bodily injury – Life Felony
  • 1 count – Unlawful Use of a Communications Device – 3rd Degree Felony
  • 1 count – Forcing, Compelling, Coercing to Become A Prostitute – 3rd Degree Felony
  • 1 count – Deriving Support from proceeds of Prostitution – 2nd Degree Felony
  • 1 count – Renting Space to Be Used for Prostitution – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • 1 count – Direct Another to Place Prostitution – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
MORE NEWS: Rise In School Fights Another Pandemic Casualty

Atilia Thomas was arrested for:

  • 1 count – Human Trafficking – 1st Degree Felony
  • 1 count – Unlawful Use of a Communications Device – 3rd Degree Felony
  • 1 count – Forcing, Compelling, Coercing to Become A Prostitute – 3rd Degree Felony
  • 1 count – Deriving Support from proceeds of Prostitution – 2nd Degree Felony
  • 1 count – Renting Space to Be Used for Prostitution – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

CBSMiami.com Team