Man offered addicts a place to stay then forced them into prostitution

Man offered addicts a place to stay then forced them into prostitution

BRADENTON (WWSB) - A Bradenton man has been found guilty on charges of human trafficking and deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution following a jury trial.

Juan Cruz Jr. was involved with a total of four women throughout 2017. The women were homeless and addicted to heroin, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office, who says Cruz gave the women food, a place to stay and heroin. That’s when Cruz told the women they owed him for what they received.

A “Backpage” was set up by Cruz for the women to meet men for prostitution. Cruz kept the money the women were paid and only gave them heroin.

A jury found Cruz guilty of two counts of human trafficking and four counts of deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution.

Cruz could face a maximum term of 120 years in prison when he is sentenced. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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