A Stock Island man was arrested today, charged with sex trafficking –the first such arrest in Monroe County.
29 year old Derrick Wilson is accused of coercing a 20 year old North Carolina woman into having sex with men for money. Wilson would take the money, providing her with a place to stay and a supply of crack cocaine in return.
The victim told Major Crimes Detective Manuel Cuervo she first came to the Keys in early February with her boyfriend. She said they argued and she left the boat they were staying on. She met up with a woman at a Stock Island convenience store and the woman offered her a place to stay and crack cocaine, which she says she’d never used before.
She said after several days of using crack cocaine and staying various places, she met a man she knew as “D” – Derrick Wilson. She said he offered her a place to stay and more crack cocaine. Eventually, she said Wilson told her if she wanted more drugs, she would have to pay him money; she said he would set her up on “dates” with men during which she would have sex with the men and they would pay Wilson money for the sexual acts.
She said she felt she had no choice because he would tell her he would “beat her ass” if she didn’t continue making money for him.
In addition, she said he arranged for her to work at a local strip club. She would make money there – she said as much as $600 a night at times – and he would take the money from her. She said she kept doing what he told her to do because she was afraid he would beat her. She said she also felt she had no choice because she has no family here.
On March 13th, the victim said she finally got enough courage to escape from Wilson. She waited until Wilson was asleep and she ran to a nearby Monroe County fire station and asked for help. Firefighters at the station contacted the Sheriff’s Office. Victim Advocate Elaine Woodson responded and, after talking with the victim, called Major Crimes Detective Cuervo who began his investigation.
Wilson was taken into custody this morning, charged with sex trafficking. A search warrant was served on his residence at 5700 Laurel Avenue, lot 2B, where the victim said she engaged in the coerced sexual activity. Evidence corroborating her story was found during a search of the premises.
Detective Cuervo says he intends to continue his investigations into Wilson’s activities.