A Florida duo was arrested earlier this month in a grotesque case of human trafficking and child sexual abuse
Agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office arrested Marc Phillips Dinkels, 33, of Vero Beach, on two counts of human trafficking and one count each of lewd and lascivious battery, use of a child in sexual performance, unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device to facilitate the commission of a felony and battery.
In addition, Agents from both agencies also arrested Taylor Kathleen Brandt, 19, of Palm Bay, for two counts of lewd and lascivious battery and one count each of human trafficking, use of a child in a sexual performance, and use of a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.
The arrests were the result of a joint investigation that was initiated after the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and West Melbourne Police Department requested that FDLE and BCSO look into a potential human trafficking case with tentacles that reached into their respective jurisdictions.
As a result of the very complex investigation, Agents found evidence that both Brandt and Dinkels had recruited three juvenile females to perform sex acts with them for money. In several of the instances, investigators say Dinkels videotaped the sex acts that included both he and Brandt being sexually active with the juveniles.
Dinkels was subsequently booked into the Indian River County Jail and Brandt was booked into the Brevard County Jail on a “No Bond” status as both were ordered to be held without bond pending first appearance.
The case is being prosecuted by the Statewide Prosecutors Office that falls under the direction of Attorney General Ashley Moody who responded to the arrests by stating, “This sick criminal duo used social media to target and lure young girls for sex, including a 14-year-old from a foster home. I am thankful for the multiple law enforcement agencies that investigated this case, and I look forward to our Statewide Prosecutors securing convictions for these loathsome predators.”
Additionally, FDLE Acting Commissioner Mark Glass commended everyone involved in the investigation and said, “Predators who take advantage of children like this have no place in our communities, and I hope this arrest sends a warning to anyone else who might seek to exploit Florida’s youth. I am proud of the work of our members and our criminal justice partners to ensure these suspects are held accountable for their criminal actions.”
“This case is a perfect example of what happens when law enforcement agencies partner together to take bad people off our streets!! I could not be more proud of the amazing team of agents that brought these disgusting individuals to justice as anyone who is evil enough to harm a child needs to be permanently locked behind bars where they can never harm another child in our community or anywhere else on the planet,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey.