A couple of South Florida women are accused of trafficking two 15-year-old girls through online advertisements for sexual activity at local hotels and Airbnbs and now face federal charges in Fort Lauderdale federal court.
Kiara Nunez, 21, of Hollywood, and Alexandra Ramirez, 19, of Coral Springs, who were arrested this week by an FBI task force following an undercover operation, made their first court appearances Wednesday on charges of sex-trafficking the two minors. The two women, represented by a federal public defender and a court-appointed attorney, have detention hearings Thursday.
Ramirez’s attorney, Danise Ponton, declined to comment. The public defender’s office could not be reached for comment.
According to a criminal complaint, investigators broke up the alleged prostitution ring when they recovered one of the two girls from a Fort Lauderdale hotel during an undercover operation on Jan. 29, 2020. They had zeroed in on the suspected sex-trafficking after reading an online advertisement that featured the two girls in nude photographs and offered them for sex in exchange for money, the complaint said.
An officer with the FBI task force contacted a phone number in the online ad and spoke with a woman who was later determined to be Nunez, according to the complaint. Nunez negotiated a deal where both she and another female “would engage in a ‘two-girl special,’ “ a common prostitution term for an individual who engages in sexual activity with two women at the same time.
The undercover officer and Nunez agreed to meet at the Fort Lauderdale hotel that evening in late January. Once inside the hotel room, Nunez confirmed the sexual activity with the officer, who was posing as a john, would cost $250, the complaint said. Nunez provided the officer with a condom while the girl went to the bathroom. Nunez told the officer that the girl was “new” and “gets nervous.”
Nunez told the officer that her best friend — later identified as Ramirez — taught her “the game” of how to be a pimp. Nunez showed him “photos and a video of other girls in provocative and undressed poses” and said that she and her best friend “do money.” She also told the officer that “she cleans the girls up” and, when asked, added that the girl in the bathroom worked for her, according to the complaint.
When the girl came out of the bathroom, officers with the FBI task force entered the hotel room and rescued her. She was identified as a 15-year-old female who had been reported missing by her family on Jan. 18, 2020, the complaint said.
Investigators soon discovered that one of the females featured in the online advertisements for sex was a second 15-year-old girl who had been reported missing on Nov. 18, 2019.
After the incident at the hotel, Nunez allowed investigators to search her cellphone, which revealed text communications between Nunez and the two girls about prostitution and between Nunez and her best friend, Ramirez. The communications also showed that Nunez sent photos of the two girls to a customer, who asked the age of one of them. Nunez texted: “she about to turn 18 in April but 17 at the moment,” according to the criminal complaint.
During an interview with investigators, the first girl said that both Nunez and Ramirez rented several hotel rooms and Airbnbs throughout Broward and an Airbnb in Lake Worth in Palm Beach County for both her and the second girl to engage in sex acts with men.
The second girl confirmed the same details in interviews in February and again in July, and that both Nunez and Ramirez complained that they were not making enough money, according to the criminal complaint.
She told investigators that Ramirez took nude photos of her and Nunez posted them online for the advertisements.
“Both Nunez and Ramirez eventually removed the photos of ‘minor victim 2’ from the online advertisement because several customers were complaining that ‘the girl looks scared,’ “ the complaint said. She added that she was so embarrassed about being forced to pose naked for photos that she “purposely tried to look afraid to possibly get help from anyone who saw them.”
The second girl also said Ramirez “pointed a BB gun” at the first girl during an argument over being forced to perform sex acts. “Nunez threatened she would leave both girls deserted in unknown locations if they did not work for her,” according to the complaint.
Both girls also told investigators that Ramirez “dressed them up” and took them to the Las Olas dining and shopping area of Fort Lauderdale, teaching them how to solicit “drunk” men for sex. But both girls were not making any money, so Ramirez and Nunez continued to advertise them online for sex at local hotels and Airbnbs, investigators said.
The two women were arrested Monday without incident by the Broward County Human Trafficking Task Force, according to the FBI. The task force includes the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and other local and state law enforcement agencies.