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Fort Myers man sent to prison on charges involving Internet escort service

FORT MYERS — from – A 33-year-old Fort Myers man who used the Internet to run a prostitution business in Bonita Springs and Lee County was sentenced today to 4¾ years in a federal prison on forced labor charges.

U.S. District Judge Charlene Honeywell also sentenced Derrick M. Ned to three years of supervised release after he serves that term.

Ned pleaded guilty on July 1 to conspiracy to commit forced labor involving a prostitution ring that operated mostly in Bonita Springs and Lee County. The plea to count one of a four-count indictment was negotiated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Molloy and Assistant U.S. Public Defender Russell Rosenthal.

His wife, Naomi Vasquez, 31, of Fort Myers, who also is known as Naomi Jackson, also pleaded to the same charge on July 13. In October, she was sentenced to 2½ years in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release.

On Jan. 9, undercover detectives from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office contacted the escort service, set up an appointment and went to a Fort Myers hotel, where a detective negotiated to have sex with a 20-year-old woman, who refused, contending she knew he was a detective.

“At first, the victim said she did not know Ned,” the plea agreement says. “She then broke down emotionally, crying, and stated that Ned would harm her if she provided information against him.”

Court records show the three victims, who met Ned in Bonita Springs through the Internet, were addicted to drugs and he provided narcotics in exchange for them being prostitutes, they told deputies, who investigated the case with the U.S. Human Trafficking Task Force. They said they worked for him involuntarily, fearing he’d be violent, and gave him the money they received for services.

The plea agreement shows a 27-year-old woman said Ned called himself “Taliban” and offered her a job as an escort for a company he and his wife operated. The woman worked, but was told the drugs she wanted would be given to her on credit, after she worked. She said she performed up to 10 acts of prostitution daily and would receive $150 to $300 per act, which she turned over to Ned for rent and transportation charges.

The women’s photographs were taken by Vasquez and posted on the Internet, court records say.

Another woman, 25, said she performed six to 10 sex acts daily to repay her debt to Ned for drugs, in addition to rent and transportation. She said Vasquez arranged the dates and sometimes collected the money and that she’d sometimes wake them up in the middle of the night to meet clients.


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