Four men were arrested yesterday on charges of recruiting underage girls in the foster care system to work as prostitutes in a Homestead brothel. Also mentioned in the same human trafficking investigation is Jean LaCroix, a Florida Department of Children and Families child protective investigator. He's suspected of repeatedly having sex with a foster child he was assigned to protect.
Eric George Earle, 29, called "E-Nasty," Willie Calvin Bivens, 65, called "Tank," Anturrell Nathaniel Dean, 30, and David Zarifi, 34, were all arrested and charged yesterday.
Police and prosecutors believed they used a 17-year-old child in foster care, only identified as S.S., to recruit other foster care children into prostitution. According to The Herald, The men would get the girls' attention and trust by plying them with gifts, money and affection. The men would then convince the girls to work as prostitutes.
Clients would call the men up and arrange to have sex with the girls at a building in Homestead. The men would be charged $100, of which the girls only received $30 or $40. Police believe the men have been running the ring since at least January of 2011.
The men were charged with conspiracy, racketeering and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Also mentioned in the report is Jean LaCroix. The DCF investigator was charged with protecting a 17-year-old girl with cognitive impairments and placed her in a home, but would return to repeatedly pick her up for sexual favors. The girl is also believed to have worked for the four pimps.
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LaCroix's name may sound familiar. That's because he was involved with another recent tragedy involving foster children. From The Herald:
LaCroix had spearheaded a 2006 child abuse investigation -- prompted by a call from worried teachers and administrators -- into the welfare of Nubia Barahona, a twin who was adopted from foster care and was killed in 2011, police say by her own adoptive parents, Carmen and Jorge Barahona. LaCroix was named in a lawsuit alleging DCF failed repeatedly to protect Nubia, and her brother, Victor, whom police say also endured years of torment.
LaCroix has so far not been charged with any crimes, but has been placed on administrative leave.