Boynton Beach police nab 14 in two-day prostitution sting

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Boynton Beach police arrested 14 people on various prostitution charges between Monday and Wednesday, luring suspects via the Internet.

The undercover operation came in response to what one detective called an apparent increase in "human trafficking of kids" in South Florida. While detectives did not arrest or rescue any juveniles in the two-day sting, police say this sting took place in response to advertisements for prostitution running rampant on the Internet. They popped up on websites such as craigslist.org.

"We're finding them all over," said Boynton Beach Police Detective Charles Ramos, the lead investigator in the operation.

Several Boynton Beach police reports detail the operation, which began Monday night:

Ramos first logged on to a computer and searched though posts on "social bulletin boards," such as craigslist.org. He found numerous advertisements for sexual services, so he responded to the post authors and arranged to meet at an undisclosed location in Boynton Beach.

At 7:30 p.m., Monday a white Mercury pulled up, and two women got out of the car. The driver, later identified by police as "pimp" Christopher Fuller, 28, stayed in the car.

Police immediately arrested Na'Imani Shetula, 19, whom police say has no known address. Investigators used the other woman, whom police have not identified, as a witness.

Detectives then pulled over Fuller and arrested him. Fuller said he paid for the two women to stay at the Quality Inn Hotel in Boca Raton.

The witness told police she got a call from a man, who later showed up at the Inn where he allegedly had sex with Shetula for $80. When the man left, she told police, Shetula called Fuller and arranged to give him the $80.

"Witness 1 informed us that Fuller has underage girls in Miami that he prostitutes," the report states. "Fuller takes all their money after they turn a trick."

Fuller kept a tablet in his car, marked with all the information about the prostitution posts he makes for the girls, according to police.

Ramos responded to another post Monday night and set up another meeting. Two more women showed up — Genet Rembert, 20, of Hallandale, and Ashley Krueger, 25, of Sunrise.

According to the reports, both women agreed to have sex with an undercover officer for $280, and police immediately arrested them.

As the investigation continued on Tuesday night, Ramos responded to more posts. He got a call from Jasmine Lisboa, 29, of Lauderhill, who later showed up to the Ramos' arranged meeting place with a man identified as Jonathan Gordon, also 29.

"Gordon came to the [meeting] to act as protection and to transport Lisboa," according to the report.

Lisboa agreed to have sex with undercover officers for $250. Detectives later learned that Gordon would have received $200 in the deal while Lisboa would have made $50.

Another post led to the arrest of two more women. Amanda Philp, 18, and Chelsea Blaze, 21, both of Boca Raton, showed up with their "pimp," David Fitzgerald, 35, of West Palm Beach, who would have gotten a cut of the $280 the women wanted for sex, according to police.

Ramos, a 13-year veteran, joined Boynton's detective's bureau six years ago with a newfound focus on child sex abuse cases. The stories he heard inspired him.

"I was hearing 'Uncle Johnny did this' and 'He did that,' " Ramos said. "Once you hear what these kids have been through, you want to work as hard as you can."

In the past year, Ramos' police work has led to numerous arrests for possession of child porn and child solicitation. When he saw an increase in prostitution in the area, Ramos said he had to make sure kids weren't involved.

Ramos said pimps have a tendency to prey on teens, many of whom are runaways from other states.

Take Fuller, who claims he was helping the women by offering them as prostitutes, Ramos said.

"He's a player in the game," Ramos said. "He's full of himself with his ego ... He thinks he's helping these kids."

But kids, Ramos said, often pay the highest price.

"Once the bell is rung," Ramos said, "you can't unring it."

ekomenda@tribune.com, 561-243-6531, Twitter: @ejkomenda

Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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