Man suspected of human trafficking in Martin Co. under arrest, sheriff's office says

A man suspected of trying to lure girls into a life of sex and prostitution is under arrest, according to the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

Christopher Alexander Koeper, 31, of Port St. Lucie, combed bars and used social media to find prospects, the sheriff's office said.  The arrest comes after a 5-month investigation.

Detectives got a tip that Koeper, who worked as a bouncer at Babylon nightclub in Stuart, had solicited a woman to have sex with patrons to make money.

“He was extremely prolific in his work to engage women to come along with him," said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder Wednesday.

A detective, posed as a 16 year-old girl and connected with Koeper on social media.

“When I was too busy to answer, he would on a daily basis, send messages trying to get me to engage with him," said Det. Sgt. Yesenia Carde-Watson.

The tipping point according to investigators was when Koeper persisted, even knowing the social media connection was underage.

“He proceeded to state he would still put us out in the strip clubs and get a fake id," said Det. Sgt. Carde-Watson.

The Sheriff explained this is human trafficking rather than prostitution because Koeper  was attempting to engage a 16 year-old who can not give consent.       

In court Wednesday afternoon, Koeper’s mother says her son has been spoiled and doesn’t understand consequences.

“Even though he’s 31, he’s still immature and he did this stupid thing today," said Ebtissam Koeper.

The Sheriff though calls Koeper a dangerous man, and this case could be bigger than it looks.  The Martin County Sheriff's Office says it is working with St. Lucie County where Koeper is a suspect in a handful of sexual battery cases.

A human trafficking prosecution could bring a life sentence.

 

Earlier Story:

A man suspected of trying to lure girls into a life of sex and prostitution is under arrest, according to the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

Christopher Alexander Koeper, 30, of Port St. Lucie, combed bars and used social media to find prospects, the sheriff's office said.

On Tuesday, deputies said that when Koeper tried to recruit who he thought was a 16-year-old girl, he ended up in handcuffs. A detective working undercover was pretending to be the teenager.

When Koeper went to meet the girl, a team of investigators took him into custody, the sheriff's office said.

Koeper is accused of human trafficking.

Detectives would like to hear from anyone Koeper may have approached in a bar, restaurant or on social media. They are urged to contact the Martin County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at (772) 220-7060. You can remain anonymous.

 

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