Sting Operation Leaves Kraft, Others with Charges


Ethan Jayne

Robert Kraft was one of many to be arrested due to links to the human trafficking industry in Palm Beach County

Ethan Jayne, Staff Writer

In 2016, Robert Kraft had been awarded by ESPN with the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE award, recognizing his efforts in giving back to the community. As Kraft received this award, ESPN highlighted several of his efforts to give, such as when he donated $100,000 to “My Life My Choice” based in Boston. My Life My Choice focuses on stopping human trafficking and helping victims of it. Now only three years later, Kraft is being charged with the same thing he sought to stop with his large donation: soliciting another to commit prostitution.

Just 30 minutes north of Santaluces High School sits Jupiter, Florida. Famous landmarks and events mark the cities rich culture whether its the Jupiter lighthouse to the golf courses. Underneath the thick atmosphere of the city lies a massive, clouded storm: human trafficking.

Human trafficking, defined, is a form of “modern-day slavery,” using humans for sexual exploitation, labor, et cetera. The problem of human trafficking remains a looming threat over the state, and will for quite a while into the future. So far, Florida has had more than half of human trafficking trafficking cases this year compared to entirety of last year, and there are no signs of a slow down.

Jupiter, Florida has been hit by one of the biggest human trafficking busts in recent Florida history, with 25 men being arrested. One of these men, Robert Kraft, is the owner of the New England Patriots, an NFL team and came as a surprise to many within the football community. Kraft had two instances related to his involvement with the human trafficking scheme, with one being on the morning of the Patriots AFC championship game (January 20). As for many students at Santaluces, Kraft’s arrest came as a surprise.

“It’s not right that he did such a thing in the first place. It came as a surprise to everyone,” said Yennifer Perez, a senior at Santaluces High School. “This is a tough situation and I really think that he cannot escape from what he did. He deserves it, doing things like that in the first place is not right,”

The human trafficking operation lied within several spas lining Florida’s East coast. One that Robert Kraft was associated with was the “Orchids of Asia Day Spa” in Jupiter. In a joint effort, Jupiter police have been working with police departments in Martin County and Palm Beach County to investigate the situations residing in Palm Beach, Orange, and Martin counties.

“It’s unbearable that in today’s day and age human trafficking rings still exist and that big business executives are soliciting sex and contributing to the problem of human trafficking,” said senior Paola Salvado. “I hope this situation shines a light on the problem.”

According to Jupiter police, evidence comes directly from the business and front body cameras of officers, along with surveillance they have taken over the past few months. There are also concerns over money laundering within the scheme.

As the ongoing investigation continues, more details will eventually be released about the scheme hidden behind closed doors in the spas that plague Florida’s East coast. As for now, pending charges fill the air of millionaires.