Alana’s story began in Albuquerque New Mexico where she was literally kidnapped from a nightclub and transported across many state lines, eventually landing in an upscale hotel in the tourist district of Orlando. There, among exhausted parents with small children, world class theme parks and the busy convention center business travelers, the fast growing criminal enterprise of Sex Trafficking grows at an alarming rate. It is also one of the few areas in the United States where the local police department vice unit has accepted the challenge of treating prostitution as Sex Trafficking and have successfully prosecuted several cases where long prison terms have been imposed on pimps.
Alana was actually living in Tampa with her pimp and had accepted an escort service call off of a website called backpage. They frequently made trips to the Orlando tourist district and set up an in-call situation at one of the hotels where families stayed while they were vacationing at Disney.
The pimp – known as Boogy Fox – was already under investigation by a federal task force because he had been known to force other young women into sexual slavery. His last girl had run from him but was too afraid to make a statement and had disappeared from the radar. They had made several attempts to set up a sting in Tampa but were unsuccessful. After noticing that the pimp was posting ads in Orlando, they reached out to the local law enforcement and requested cooperation. It was at short notice and on a Friday, but the officers immediately made arrangements with Alana by phone to meet her at the hotel they had booked through priceline.com. After agreeing on a price for sex, they immediately let Alana know they were police officers and that they were not looking to arrest her – they only wanted to arrest the pimp.
At first she denied any knowledge, but after assuring her they would be able to protect her and assist with getting her home, she allowed the detectives to call OOTL for extraction. While they waited for us to arrive, she showed them the meticulous records she had kept, detailing every phone call, every client and every transaction. She also showed them her bible which she obviously read regularly while highlighting passages – making exhaustive notes in the margins. At the request of the federal officials, they did not arrest Boogy right there and then. In fact, they went down to the car where he was waiting and told him who they were and what was happening with Alana. They told him they were confiscating her laptop, her cell phone and that she was being arrested. While he was obviously surprised, he didn’t say much and drove away. The federal officials that had been tailing him when he left Tampa easily picked up his trail when he drove back into town and followed him to his home where they watched him “sanitize” his home and dispose of any incriminating evidence that Alana had ever been there. He contacted friend who came and picked up a large amount of cash which was also confiscated by law enforcement. Later, after obtaining a warrant to search his home, they found that he compulsively kept all of Alanas identity documents and her dental records in a safe hidden in the wall of his closet. Alana confirmed that he had told that since he had her dental records there would be no way anyone could identify her body if she didn’t comply with his demands and he had to kill her.
During their search, they broke down the door and removed nearly all of his personal possessions as they had been purchased with illegally obtained from the proceeds of prostitution – including his car, cell phone, televisions, stereo equipment and most of his clothing. He was quite put out by the officers actions and angrily asked one of them what he was supposed to do now. The officer pulled a quarter out of his pocket and tossed it on the now empty nightstand and told him to “call someone who cared”.
I arrived at the hotel and faced two exhausted detectives who had been on duty more than 72 hours. I quickly helped her put together what little possessions they were leaving with her and we loaded up my truck and headed to the OOTL house. Alana was extremely nervous about what was going to happen to her and didn’t really seem to believe that she was not being taken to jail until we actually entered the condo. We set her bags down and I showed her her bed and the bathroom as well as the generously stocked kitchen and told her she had access to anything she wanted. I let her use my cell phone to contact her cousin who immediately offered to come and get her. We agreed upon a time and place to meet and I left her to enjoy her newfound freedom.
I came back about two hours later to make sure she didn’t need anything and found her fast asleep – fully dressed – on top of the covers.
When I picked her up to go to breakfast the next morning, she was rested and much more relaxed than she had been the previous day. And she was ready to share more of her story.
Alana had met Boogy at a nightclub in downtown Albuquerque New Mexico. He had wined and dined her. Been flattering and attentive. Told her she was beautiful and the kind of girl he could fall in love with.
This was music to Alana’s ears. Her relationship with the father of her two children was hopelessly deadlocked in a battle over custody. Since Alana had no education, she was unable to provide a stable living environment and her Ex rarely allowed her to see the children and constantly told her she was a bad mother. In fact, he told her she was a bad wife, a bad woman and a bad person in general. Eventually she believed it and became reckless – a party girl. And the perfect prey for a monster like Boogy.
Boogy convinced her to return to Florida with him. He told her about his house and his job as a club promoter. He promised her he would help her get custody of her children and they could all live together in bliss – away from the prying eyes of her family and friends and especially the controlling ex-husband. It sounded like a dream come true and Alana packed a few things – Boogy said not to bring too much because he would buy her everything brand new!
By the time they drove through Houston, Alana knew she had made a mistake. The clothes he bought her were nothing more than skimpy lingerie and he would take pictures of her and post them on a local website offering sex-for-sale. At first she said no, but Boogy became menacing and violent so she eventually complied. After Houston, they moved on to a rowdy New Orleans right before Mardi Gras and the pictures and ads started again. It was in New Orleans that Alana was nearly killed by a client who wanted to play domination games with her as the submissive. When Alana didn’t return to Boogy at the appointed time, he knocked on the clients door, and found a tearful and terrified Alana tied up in a closet.
They made their way to Florida and before Alana knew it – she was trapped. She was too ashamed to call her family for help and Boogy closely monitored her phone calls and computer access. Her days and nights became a single ongoing nightmare.
It was four months before the sting in Orlando finally freed her from Boogy. He was later convicted of various trafficking charges and Alana now lives back with her family and has reconciled with her children and is in school studying to be a nurse.
It was her willingness to testify about Boogy’s brutality that brought about a ten year sentence and sex offender status for Boogy.