A North Miami Beach man has been arrested in connection with a human trafficking operation in which girls from a nearby high school were allegedly going to be sold for sex.
David Llama Lopez, 46, was arrested after a search warrant was executed at a home just off Biscayne Boulevard and 123rd Street, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.
Building manager David Clattenburg said Lopez was staying as a guest at his brother's apartment.
Lopez has been charged with two counts each of human trafficking, procuring a minor for prostitution, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Sources told NBC 6 that Lopez had allegedly made contact with students at North Miami High School and planned to have them participate in an illegal human trafficking operation where they would be required to have sex.
"One of the things we know is that we need to be reaching out to our schools because that's where a lot of potential victims are and where a lot of potential predators are," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle said.
School board police were alerted to Lopez's alleged actions last week when the parent of a 16-year-old called to report an incident.
Parents from the high school said they were worried once they heard about the investigation.
"I was concerned, so I come to pick up my son," said father Dinesh Palinal. "I think they should apprehend him and put him away. That's for sure. These kids go to school, not to do something like that."
Investigators said Lopez required a 17-year-old victim to have sex with him at his apartment and that the minor was hesitant. However, she said she saw a gun and felt fearful and had sex with the Lopez.
Parents said they had gotten a warning about the suspected activity.
"I heard about it," said Odlet Desrseos, whose child attends the school. "I heard about it last week."
Lopez's arrest report indicated that while Lopez hoped to recruit other female students, there is no solid information he actualloy was able to make any significant contact with other students beyond the two charges filed against him.
Lopez was being held without bond early Wednesday. It is unclear if he has an attorney.