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Pam Bondi announces human-trafficking arrest in Ocala

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Attorney General Pam Bondi on Wednesday announced an Ocala man’s arrest for human trafficking.

Ryan Gemelle Poole also faces counts of deriving support from proceeds of prostitution and using a two-way communications device to commit a felony.

Bondi and Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey said Poole’s arrest was the result of a five-month investigation.

They said he took control of his victim’s money and forced her to engage in prostitution in Alachua, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Marion and Orange counties — promoting her on sex websites.

The Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.

“Human trafficking is an abhorrent crime and the allegations in this case are sickening—further proving that we must do everything in our power to eliminate human trafficking in Florida,” Bondi said in a written statement.

Authorities fear Poole exploited additional victims, and urged anyone with information about the case to call Marion County Detective Zackary Hughes at 352-369-6805.

Gov. Rick Scott named Woods as interim sheriff on May 20, after former Sheriff Chris Blair was accused of perjury and official misconduct. Woods was to serve until newly elected sheriff Billy Woods takes office in the new year.

Blair dropped his re-election bid as part of a plea agreement.

Gainey will return to the attorney general’s office, where he has served as director of law enforcement relations, victim services and criminal justice programs since 2007.

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