Woman Charged with Human Trafficking Denies Accusations
One of the two women arrested for human trafficking this week admits she took money, but won't say if it was to procure young women for men.
Just hours ago, Melissa Rodriguez spoke to TV20 during a jailhouse interview.
She and an accused accomplice were arrested after a six month investigation found she was allegedly selling young girls.
During the jailhouse interview we specifically asked Rodriguez if she has ever sold a person for money.
"Never. Never at all," said Rodriguez.
Forty-one- year- old Rodriguez of Williston said she's not involved in any human trafficking operation, but investigators said differently.
An FBI and Ocala Police Deaprtment investigation revealed Rodriguez and her friend Ysbette Jospeh, met several times with a source working with law enforcement.
The source told Rodriguez his friend was looking to expand his escort business.
"He started his conversation about what he was involved in and there was a things that he wanted that I was a little shocked about," said Rodriguez.
Investigators said Rodriguez agreed to find young hispanic girls for the "sources" friend.
The report states Rodriguez made comments like "younger girls are better because they are easier to control."
"If you surveillanced me for so long show me where I did what I did. What you are claiming I did," said Rodriguez.
According to the report, rodriguez met with the "source" at least five times in the Ocala and Orlando area.
The last meeting place was at the "El Nuevo Palacio" night club in Northwest Ocala in July.
That is where rodriguez allegedly told the "source" that she had two girls from Mexico and one from El Salvador between the ages of 17 and 23 and that the girls do not have documentation to be in this country.
The report also states Rodriguez was going to Haines City to pick up two more girls.
While in this parking lot, officials said Rodriguez and Joseph accepted a cash downpayment for the purchase of at least three illegal girls.
"When he gave you the money, what did he tell you the money was for?"
"That I will hold off until I speak to my attorney on that one," said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez showed no emotion when asked about the human trafficking charges, but became teary eyed when asked about her seven children.
"I love them and I miss them and hopefully all this will be cleared soon," said Rodriguez.
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