Three men who ran an organized human trafficking and prostitution operation in Orlando have been arrested, the Orlando Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI) announced Thursday.
Richard Rawles, 75, James Bernard King, 50, and Wilbert Shaver, 61, were taken into custody at a house in the 4200 block of Cepeda Street in Orlando, by state law enforcement agents this morning.
Rawles, a violent career criminal with 47 felony arrests to include robbery, sexual battery and child abuse, among others, was at the center of the investigation which began in December 2012.
Investigators say, Rawles actively recruited prisoners from Lowell Correctional Institution, a state prison for women in Ocala and transported the women to Orlando upon their release.
Rawles, King and Shaver, using the house on Cepeda Street as their base of operation would advertise the women on prostitution websites and transported them to locations in Central Florida to commit acts of prostitution. Some customers were allowed to come to the residence to engage in acts of prostitution, investigators also said.
The women were repeatedly provided narcotics like cocaine and heroin by Rawles, and were not allowed to leave the residence unless escorted by the defendants. Several women said they were threatened and beaten by Rawles and King.
Rawles, King and Shaver face multiple charges to include human trafficking for commercial sexual activity, human trafficking for labor and services and deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution.
Anyone with additional information on these scumbags should contact MBI at # 407-836-9701 or Crimeline at #407-423-TIPS.