CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.- Three people from Southwest Florida are accused of turning a Fort Myers teenager into a sex slave.
Federal investigators say the three traveled to North Carolina and forced the teen into prostitution.
WINK News helped investigators find one of the suspects. Julia Farias was in the Charlotte County jail for another crime, but now she’s also accused in the multi-state trafficking case.
Charlotte County Sheriff Spokeswoman Debbie Bowe is happy to have helped solve the suspect search involving kidnapping and sex slavery.
“If it wasn’t for you guys, they’d still be searching in North Carolina right now,” said Bowe.
Farias was arrested for driving on a suspended license and trying to evade deputies in Southwest Florida.
Farias, along with 33-year-old Vanessa Snyder and 22-year-old Allen Harris Jr. are accused of kidnapping the teenager, driving her to North Carolina, and forcing her to become a sex slave.
“The victim in this case was basically kicked out, beaten and forced into sexual servitude,” said Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson.
Deputies say the 19-year-old was held captive in a boarding house in Graham, North Carolina. According to authorities, she was forced to have sex with men for cash.
Snyder and Harris had already been located but Farias was still missing until now.
The man charged with the crimes was already in custody for unrelated crimes here in Lee County.
Prosecutors in North Carolina are trying to have him extradited as quickly as possible. They will begin the process to do the same with Farias who remains in the Charlotte County jail.