PENSACOLA, Fla. – A Florida man is facing federal charges in connection with a multistate human trafficking ring, according to officials with the U.S. Department of Justice.
David Williams, 41, is accused of operating multiple massage parlors in Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania where he was allegedly exploiting undocumented women by offering sexual acts during massages in exchange for money, officials with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General said.
“The defendant allegedly used his businesses to exploit women in several different states and force them into prostitution purely to line his own pockets,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Thanks to strong collaboration with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we have put an end to this criminal enterprise and are seeking justice for the defendant’s victims.”
#CHARGED— AG Josh Shapiro (@PAAttorneyGen) August 16, 2019
My Office has taken down David Williams, leader of a human trafficking ring in PA, FL, & VA.
Human trafficking is a vile practice lurking beneath the surface of society. Now, thanks to excellent law enforcement collab, we seek to bring justice to his victims.
More than a dozen search warrants were carried out at massage parlors linked to Williams in those three states, including in Pensacola, Gulf Breeze and Gainesville, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Florida.
An arrest warrant was executed Friday for the Pensacola business owner on charges of using interstate facilities for racketeering purposes, money laundering conspiracy and harboring undocumented immigrants for commercial advantage or private financial gain, a news release from the Justice Department said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Pennsylvania State Police were among several agencies involved in the investigation.
A detention hearing for Williams is set for Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the U.S. Courthouse in Pensacola, according to the release.