Police have arrested two Orlando men accused of packing 24 children younger than 18 into a van and forcing them to work in Palm Bay.
Palm Bay police claim the children were dropped off in Palm Bay and forced to spend more than 10 hours selling cheap items door-to-door.
According to a spokeswoman for the Palm Bay Police Department, the children were brought over from Orlando and were told the only way they could get food or water was to sell.
A Brevard judge ordered both men to be held on a $5.6 million bond each at the Brevard County Jail Complex.
Both men were also charged with 24 counts of child abuse and eight counts each of employing a minor child, reports show. The case will be sent to the Brevard County state attorney’s office, and prosecutors will decide whether or not to press formal charges.
The men were arrested Friday after Palm Bay police received a message from a Department of Children and Families agent that underage children were seen roaming Palm Bay streets selling cheap goods.
The children were picked up by police and turned over to their parents.
Human trafficking often involves forcing vulnerable individuals into unpaid labor or other services. If you have been charged with human trafficking, labor trafficking, sex trafficking or child trafficking, you need to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and to begin establishing your defense. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes throughout the United States and prosecutors will fight for maximum sentences in these cases.
Being accused of labor trafficking, child trafficking or sex trafficking in Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral or the surrounding area can be quite scary. These charges should be taken very seriously as a conviction carries very harsh consequences. A Brevard County Criminal Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you piece together an effective defense to achieve the best possible legal outcome. We can challenge whatever evidence law enforcement has gathered against you and make sure your rights are protected. In these types of high profile cases it is best not to delay, so contact us today online or call 866-608-5529 for a free evaluation of your case.