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Crime & Courts

2 men charged in Tampa Bay human trafficking ring

Two men have been charged with leading a human-trafficking ring involving at least 16 women in the Tampa Bay area.

Peter D. Kitt and Shawn D. Franklin were each being held Friday on $1 million bond on charges of racketeering and conspiracy.

Authorities say the women were recruited from strip clubs and sent to a brothel in Pinellas County to become prostitutes. They were routinely given drugs and beaten.

Attorney General Pam Bondi called the women's captivity akin to "modern-day slavery."

Bondi's office, the Clearwater Police Department and eight other law enforcement agencies partnered in the investigation.

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