No Human Trafficking Charges
For Anyone Nailed in Sting
3/14/2019 1:00 AM PDT
Robert Kraft and all the other suspects arrested in South Florida’s prostitution sting are not facing a single charge of human or sex trafficking — despite the fact cops made that their headline … TMZ Sports has learned.
We’ve confirmed with prosecutors in Palm Beach County — home to the now-infamous Orchids of Asia Spa — that Kraft is still only facing 2 solicitation charges. We’re told that’s also true for the other 25 “johns” arrested in Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Four other people have been arrested for operating or managing the spas, but even they haven’t been charged with trafficking.
Sources familiar with the case tell us prosecutors have seen ZERO evidence of human trafficking to this point — after a 5-month investigation. Further, we’re told 2 federal agencies — ICE and the FBI — knew about the sting early on, and opted not to get involved because they saw no signs the case involved trafficking.
The police sting also targeted massage parlors in Indian River and Orange Counties with at least 45 additional arrests — however, no trafficking charges have been reported there either. We’ve reached out to their State Attorney’s Offices, but haven’t heard back yet.
Multiple law enforcement agencies held widely covered news conferences nearly 3 weeks ago where they boasted of breaking up a trafficking ring. As Jupiter, FL’s Police Chief Daniel Kerr put it, “Concern centers around the possibility of victims of human trafficking.”
Of course, raising the specter of trafficking got the sting a lot more attention — but it also painted Kraft and all the other suspects with a much more nefarious brush. Human trafficking is a felony punishable by serious prison time. Solicitation, on the other hand, is a misdemeanor.
Prosecutors and cops in Palm Beach County tell us further charges are still possible because their investigation is ongoing. A Jupiter PD official told us, “These things take time.”
That can’t sit well with the dozens of people who were publicly connected to such a serious crime before law enforcement had the goods to charge them.