Behind closed doors: Hotels, motels emerge as human-trafficking sites


To the rest of the world, it looked like a hotel off Interstate 95. To Robert Atlee Miner V, authorities allege, it was a classroom — one where he taught an 18-year-old woman how to sell her body for sex.

Get a room above the first floor to avoid attention, the 27-year-old man told the woman, whom authorities say he lured to South Florida with the promise of work either as a dancer or an escort. Cover up your body while checking in. And get two keys to the room, so Miner could enter through the back of the hotel and collect the money.

Miner is facing multiple charges of human trafficking, which some have called modern-day slavery, and the hotel isn’t the only lodging in South Florida to become scenes of that crime. Hotels and motels across Florida — essential parts of the state’s tourism economy — are emerging as some of the most common places where trafficking occurs, according to law-enforcement officials and victims-rights advocates.

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