An elderly man and two other suspects were charged Thursday in an unusual human-trafficking scheme — recruiting felons from a Florida prison for women for a prostitution operation in Orlando, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Charged with human trafficking were Richard Rawles, 75, James Bernard King, 50, and Wilbert Shaver, 61. Rawles, the alleged kingpin, was described as a violent career criminal who has faced 47 felony charges over the years for robbery, sexual battery, child abuse and narcotics.
Police say he recruited prisoners from Lowell Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Ocala, and transported the women to Orlando after they were released from prison. “The defendants advertised the females on prostitution websites and transported them to locations in Central Florida to commit acts of prostitution,” police said in a statement. Rawles gave the women drugs, including cocaine and heroin, and wouldn’t allow them to leave without an “escort,” the agency said.