Jesse Carde told us in an interview as we drove around with her in her patrol SUV. She's taking us to where they'll shift more attention as they expect pimps and prostitutes to do the same. Generally the popular days for prostitutes to be out on the streets in Martin County are after payday, Friday and Saturday, but now with Backpage shut down, we'll see how that changes.
These brothels would market themselves online, but also using old school methods such as business cards promoting a shell business and a wink. With Backpage down, Lt. Carde says it will make it harder for traveling sex workers to find Johns.
It will also help curb underage and girls forced into the trade. Please sign in with your WRAL. You also will need a Facebook account to comment. Leave this field blank. Your friends e-mail addresses comma separated: Earlier this month, on the heels of a U. Senate report that blasted the site for facilitating criminal activity, Backpage shut down the adult content portion of its website.
Classified websites such as Backpage and Craigslist, which allow users to hawk everything from real estate to used cars, have long been targeted by police for facilitating the sex trade. Last fall, prosecutors accused a Miami preacher of trafficking young boys through Craigslist, as well as Backpage; he is awaiting trial.
But Dallas-based Backpage, founded in as an off-shoot of classified sections for alternative weekly newspapers, remains one of the most popular websites for hooking up prostitutes with johns, according to law enforcement. In Miami-Dade, posts on the website have resulted in many high-profile human trafficking cases. In recent years, those charged include a local Spanish-language singer , a man who forced a runaway teen to tattoo his street name on her eyelids and a businessman who lured girls from Kazakhstan with the false promise of working at a yoga studio.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 73 percent of all its child trafficking report stem from Backpage. In Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Thomas Dart waged a public campaign against Backpage in , posting a letter to credit-card companies asking they stop accepting financial transactions from the site.
Visa, Mastercard and American Express all voluntarily stopped accepting business from Backpage. The website sued, arguing Dart was infringing on its right to free speech — and won. A federal appeals court upheld the ruling ordering Dart to stop publicly pressing the issue. Supreme Court in December refused to take up the issue. In December, California filed new charges against the men, this time charging them with money laundering.
The trial is still pending. The best we can do is facilitate the capabilities of police to investigate. At least until recently, Backpage was generally fast to respond to government subpoenas and request for customer information, even the credit-card info used by those posting to the adult section, according to Florida police agencies.
Subpoenas revealed that someone posted the ads for the girl using a pre-paid Visa card. Digging further, investigators found that Chamah used the same card to rent a scooter — the same one he used to drop off the teen for a rendezvous with an undercover Miami Beach detective posing as a john. Confronted with the financial records, Chamah pleaded guilty last fall and is now behind bars.
Prostitutes and escorts have certainly adjusted to the changes at Backpage. On post after post, they offer their services in less-than-subtle ways...