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Texans Accused of Trafficking Teen in Florida

Crime

A photo of several parked Miami police cars | Image by Miami-Dade County

Two DFW residents have been arrested in Florida for allegedly traveling with a 17-year-old girl to have her engage in prostitution.

Miami-Dade police said Xavier Latrell Smith, 32, and Jayla Welch, 21, face charges including human trafficking, custody interference, and unlawful use of a communications device. 

Investigators said Welch had allegedly been recruiting girls for sex work in the Dallas area when she met the 17-year-old about two months ago. 

Authorities said, “The woman’s boyfriend facilitated and arranged meetings with potential customers for commercial sex. Detectives received a tip from law enforcement partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation that both subjects and the victim may be in Miami-Dade County engaged in sex trafficking.”

Allegedly, Smith facilitated the meetings using his phone number, which police said was posted on several commercial sex sites. 

Officials then found the trio in an area that police said was known for sex trafficking, located in northwest Miami-Dade County. 

After surveillance, investigators said they caught Smith leaving a Budget Inn Motel and getting into an SUV. Following his departure from the motel, detectives performed a traffic stop and detained Smith. 

Surveillance also caught Welch and the victim leaving the same motel, where they were approached and detained. Further investigation revealed the trio had made multiple stops to meet with customers while traveling to Florida. 

Police said the victim claimed she made over $10,000 during the week-long stay in Florida. She told police she split the money with Smith and Welch.

Smith and Welch were booked and transported to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. No information about the suspects possibly being extradited to Texas has been released.

Human trafficking has become a growing problem in North Texas, with dozens of arrests in Dallas last year alone amid the city council’s continued neglect of public safety and law enforcement.

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