Jim Lundi, 38, of Miami, was sentenced to a total of 300 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. after pleading guilty to sex trafficking a minor.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI’s Miami Field Office, and Alfredo Ramirez, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), made the announcement.
According to the court record, in November 2017, the defendant met the 16-year-old victim, who was homeless and addicted to drugs, and saw an opportunity. The victim began living with him in an abandoned house in Miami. Shortly thereafter, the defendant discussed going into “business” with the victim. The defendant taught the victim how to use websites such as Backpage to advertise sex for money. He took nude photographs of the victim and then posted them on various websites including Backpage and listed his phone number in the advertisements as the method of contact.The defendant communicated with potential customers who responded to the advertisements and set up dates for the victim. Before meeting with a customer, the defendant often told the victim, “condoms, money, don’t play games.” He set the prices for the commercial sex acts and kept all of the money. The defendant regularly beat the victim for not making enough money from commercial sex acts or for trying to keep some of the money that she had earned. He frequently only gave the victim small amounts of drugs at a time, knowing that she had a strong addiction, in order to maintain control over her.
Also according to the court record, sometime in January 2018, the defendant transported the victim to a motel in Hollywood, Florida, where they stayed for approximately two weeks. During this time, the victim engaged in commercial sex acts inside the motel room while the defendant hid in the closet. The defendant then took the victim back to Miami because he wanted to make more money. After returning to Miami, the victim escaped from the defendant after he beat her and dragged her down a street. The victim broke away from the defendant and ran into a nearby restaurant – scraped, battered, and without pants. A good samaritan called the police and the victim was transported to a hospital.
Following his release from prison, Lundi will be on supervised release for 25 years and must register as a sexual offender (Case No. 19cr20075).
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, in partnership with MDPD’s Human Trafficking Squad, and assistance from the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit and Operational Technology Division, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigatory efforts of the FBI Miami Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, MDPD, and all those who assisted in this matter. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Kahn Obenauf and Rilwan Adeduntan.
To report suspected human trafficking or to obtain resources for victims, please call 1-888-373-7888; text “BeFree” (233733), or live chat at HumanTraffickingHotline.org. The toll-free phone, SMS text lines, and online chat function are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Help is available in English, Spanish, Creole, or in more than 200 additional languages. The National Hotline is not managed by law enforcement, immigration or an investigative agency. Correspondence with the National Hotline is confidential and you may request assistance or report a tip anonymously.
To learn more about the National Resource Hotline visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking visit www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.