Man, woman arrested on human trafficking charges in Florida, officials say

Marc Phillips Dinkels, 33, and Taylor Kathleen Brandt, 19, face multiple charges

A man and woman were arrested on charges of human trafficking and the use of a child in sexual performance, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A man and woman were arrested on charges of human trafficking and the use of a child in sexual performance, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

FDLE said on Sunday that Marc Phillips Dinkels, 33, and Taylor Kathleen Brandt, 19, were arrested on multiple charges and are accused of luring young girls for sex, including at least two from a group home.

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FDLE said it began investigating with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in March. The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and West Melbourne Police Department were the agencies initially investigating but asked FDLE and Brevard deputies to take over.

According to FDLE, the two lured three girls to perform sex acts for money. The department said some of the instances were recorded.

“This sick criminal duo used social media to target and lure young girls for sex, including a 14-year-old from a foster home. I am thankful for the multiple law enforcement agencies that investigated this case, and I look forward to my Statewide Prosecutors securing convictions for these loathsome predators,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a release.

According to FDLE’s report, the investigation started after a foster care worker at an Oviedo group home noticed a girl laughing at something on her cell phone with another child. The report said the girl showed videos of her smoking, drinking and kissing a woman — identified as Brandt.

FDLE’s report said the first instance took place in Palm Bay when Dinkels picked up Brandt and two girls and took them to a West Melbourne hotel. The report said Dinkels denied to investigators that he knew the girls were underage.

Dinkels and Brandt face charges of human trafficking, lewd and lascivious battery, unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device to facilitate the commission of a felony and battery. Dinkels also faces a use of a child in sexual performance charge.

FDLE said Dinkels and Brandt are being held without bond at the Indian River jail and the Brevard County jail, respectively.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.