A sex trafficking operation was busted at a Florida hotel thanks to the intervention of a vigilant hotel worker.
Police arrested Richard Flores, 44, and Maria Barrios Calero, 44, at the Lago Motor Inn in Lake Worth Beach on Sunday.
Authorities assert that Calero coordinated the prostitution of two minor victims — both of whom were rescued by police during the arrests — for Flores at the hotel.
“Initial fact-finding by detectives on scene confirmed the commercial sex trafficking of two minor victims,” the Palm Beach County Police Department said in a press release. “The two minor victims along with the two suspects were transported to a local substation for interviews.”
The commercial sex trafficking operation was initially discovered by a hotel clerk who entered the room and found the two victims sitting on a bed with Flores. The clerk also noticed a condom in the room, authorities say.
“The witness stated he called police after observing how young the two females appeared to be and their demeanor,” Palm Beach County Police Department said in its release. “Consent to search the room was provided by the hotel clerk which resulted in locating the condom on top of the bed.”
Sex trafficking remains a major issue in Florida, particularly in Palm Beach County.
“Palm Beach County is actually the third in the state as far as reports of Human Trafficking go,” Director of Victim Services Nicole Bishop said, according to local outlet WPBF.
“Florida,” Bishop added in her statement, “is the third in the nation in Human Trafficking.”