Soon a tall and strong-headed escort moved in and showed Hugo "the ins and outs of the escort world," he says. She persuaded some of the younger ladies to become call girls. So in August 2004, he started Newtothebiz.com, posting photos of the girls along with code words for what they were willing to perform sexually ("going Greek," for example, stood for anal sex). It wasn't immediately a hit. For weeks, it garnered only three members. But after several girl-on-girl promotional "sex parties," thrown at the Miramar pad, the site's membership began to balloon.

Explains Hugo's lawyer, Greg Chonillo: "He is a brilliant businessman."

When the lease ran out, Hugo packed up an RV and offered traveling sex parties with the help of three girls, he says. They included Lily "Giggles" Real, a blonde who was prone to jealousy; April "Diamond" Guadalupe, a business-savvy Puerto Rican; and Maria "Jade" Orango, who had a labret piercing and preferred women. They turned tricks from Arizona to Washington, D.C., Hugo says.

Afterward — in search of stability — Hugo began to rent the mansion in 2006. With the help of their national tour, Newtothebiz.com had reached 3,000 members by 2007. Wealthy neighbors had no clue what was going on across the street. Says one middle-aged man: "I figured they were college students."

Newtothebiz.com members paid a small fee for porn videos on the site, but the bulk of the income came from the escort service. Girls put up profiles with "likes, dislikes" and charged $200 to $400 per hour. Clients would tip $20 to $100. All of it went to Hugo. At that rate, he was bringing in $360,000 a year. "The thing was starting to blow up," he says.

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Pebbles wears pink hoop earrings to her "date" at a one-bedroom apartment in Aventura. Although her hair is the color of blood and the word forbidden is tattooed above her buttocks, the 24-year-old has a childlike presence. She smells like flowers and has sparkly brown eyes. Taking a deep breath, she rings the doorbell.

Her john answers. He is an overweight Hispanic guy who begins to talk about himself. He's trying to have a baby with his wife, he confesses, and has been under a lot of stress. Once in the bedroom, he has an unusual request: "Crush my laptop with your sexy feet."

Like an actress, Pebbles pretends to be strong as she stomps. He forks over $200 and she leaves without taking off her clothes. The call has been unusually easy. "The worst part," she says, "is never knowing what's gonna happen. He could have AIDS or be a psycho who wants to rob and kill me."

In Miami-Dade, the mansion girls aren't an isolated case. Upscale sex rings tend to pop up in quiet suburban parts of the county. "Why would people with wealth go to the ghetto for a hooker?" says Michael Berish, a retired police officer who worked 14 years as an undercover vice detective in Miami. "They've got high-priced call girls in their own neighborhood."

In a similar case from the mid-'80s, a brothel was operated inside a "really, really exclusive" Brickell apartment, recalls Berish. As with Newtothebiz.com, clients were admitted by recommendation. Well-paid attorneys, doctors, and politicians bought sex there. "It's the oldest profession," says Berish, who published a book about his career called Reflections from the Pit. "There's a market for it everywhere."

Teenage prostitutes in Kendall — not far from the mansion — made big headlines in the '90s, when authorities discovered a sex ring in the sprawling bedroom community. Pimps back then propositioned students at school bus stops, handed out flyers, and advertised at-home "delivery." Soon, cops across Miami-Dade began to crack down. In 2003, for example, Miami Beach Police made 60 prostitution-related arrests during Operation Clean Sweep.

This year has been a big one for prostitution busts. In February, cops busted an allegedly violent Miami Beach pimp named Rafael "Marco" Bernabe-Caballero for forcing immigrant women into sex work, using a website called MiamiUltimate.com. And just last month, authorities arrested a record 82 people over three days during Operation Cross Country IV, a sting that targeted those who profit from underage prostitutes.

Pebbles, who advertises "Come Play With Me" on Backpage.com, was the typical teenage prostitute: uneducated, abused as a child, and with no better place to go. She entered the world of escorting at age 18 through Hugo.

She was raised in a middle-class Hialeah neighborhood with a well-intentioned, if naive, mother and, from the age of 5, was molested repeatedly by her stepfather.

"If I didn't do what he wanted, I wasn't allowed to go outside or play with friends," she remembers. "My mom loved him, so it was like, 'Anything he says goes.'" When Pebbles talks about it, she stares down at her cell phone as if it will magically transport her away from that time and place.

Growing up, she sought any excuse to escape from the house. At age 16, she dropped out of Miami Lakes Technical Education Center in search of a husband. "I wanted to get pregnant so I could get married and get away from home." Instead, she got a fake ID and a job stripping at Gold Rush on Northeast 11th Street, across from Club Space in downtown Miami.

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2 comments
amariskeys
amariskeys

I still can honsetly say ive never met a man more honest n kind hearted he changed people for the better n always gave chances to make ur life better if u wanted to n the lucky ones lived like stars

amariskeys
amariskeys

I loved hugo he was the best i dont care wat anybody says hugo always looked out n i never felt safer

 

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