Hawthorne Man Arrested in Connection to Human Trafficking Case
Published April 11th, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A Hawthorne man arrested in Marion County for possessing crack cocaine is facing extradition to Gainesville for his alleged involvement in a human trafficking case.
According to Gainesville police, 31-year-old Mikal Craig of Hawthorne met his victim -- who is a female over 18 years-old -- at a party in Keystone back in early March.
In her interview with police, the victim says she blacked out at that party, but later regained consciousness while at Craig's home in Hawthorne.
The victim told police she suffers from substance abuse issues -- something she says Craig took advantage of by offering to supply her with drugs and promising to keep her safe if she agreed to stay with him.
But according to the arrest report, it was only a matter of days before Craig told the victim she could begin earning money by having sex with people he found online.
"The victim was taken to a plethora of locations in and around Alachua County, a lot of hotels and motels in the city of Gainesville," said Lt. Will Halvosa of GPD. "He was setting up sexual encounters for the victim to be taken advantage of."
The victim told police Craig kept all the money she would make, and whenever she would try to leave, he would threaten her.
Police say this continued for several weeks until the victim managed to get away, and call her family, who then reported the incident to GPD.
FDLE agents arrested Craig in Ocala on Wednesday night after an investigator spotted his car outside of a Days Inn. Upon his arrest, Craig admitted to police he had crack cocaine in his possession.
In addition to the drug charge, Craig is now facing extradition back to Alachua County where he is expected to be charged with attempted sexual battery, kidnapping and human trafficking.
Authorities are now trying to figure out if anyone else fell victim to Craig. GPD says anyone with information should call their criminal investigations office at (352) 393-7670.
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