The co-founder of an Ocala Italian eatery and a retired postal inspector are behind bars in Hernando County in connection with a human trafficking case.
Luigi Barile, 38, is one of the founders of The Chefs of Napoli restaurant in the Heath Brooks Commons Shopping Center at 5400 SW College Road, according to the Florida Division of Corporations. He was arrested Thursday and charged with human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between the ages of 12 and 16. He is being held on no bond on the human trafficking charge and $650,000 bond on the other charges.
Barile, who lives at 3487 Misty View Drive in Spring Hill, also co-founded Chefs of Napoli restaurants in Wildwood and Spring Hill. He was one of nine men arrested in a two-year investigation into human trafficking that originated in Hernando County.
Also arrested on the same charges Thursday was Lawrence Edward Kemble, 70, of Ocala. The retired postal inspector from Sussex County, N.J. was taken into custody in Marion County.
All of the arrests were conducted Thursday by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents with assistance from multiple local law enforcement agencies. The human trafficking charges were the result of an investigation into an anonymous tip regarding individuals responding to a specific online ad posted on various internet sites offering sex for money.
Investigators were able to identify an adult who was serving in a parental role, who was offering the services of a female juvenile in her mid-teens to anyone willing to pay for sex. The identity of the adult is not being released to protect the identity of the victim.
That unnamed adult faces charges of human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.
The sexual encounters occurred in Hernando County, as well as various other locations across the state, including Ocala. The unnamed adult at times would transport the teen to other counties for paid sexual encounters, some lasting overnight. The teen is now living in a human trafficking shelter well outside of the Tampa Bay area.
During a Friday morning press conference, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis called the case against Barile “particularly disturbing,” adding that at least one encounter with the teen took place in Ocala.
“Not only did he use the services of our young victim, he also brought at least one time at least three of his friends with him,” Nienhuis said. “And all four of these men exchanged money for sex.”
The Chefs of Napoli website states that Barile and his partner, Antonio Cacace – he had his own run-in with the law in January 2015 – grew up in Italy and eventually came to Florida to get in the restaurant business. They each got married and saved up until they could afford to open their first restaurant in Spring Hill. And they’ve since added locations in Ocala, Wildwood and Inverness, which is closed.
Nienhuis said that Kemble recently asked the teenage victim to take a trip with him to Daytona Beach. And he said he had many communications with her through a social media site called Backpage and text messaging.
“He was constantly telling her what great reviews he was putting out there for her in an attempt for her to get more business, apparently,” Nienhuis said. “I’m not sure what his motive was there but I think you can fill in the blanks.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, speaking at Friday’s press conference, said that cases like one involving the nine arrestees are horrifying and tragic.
“In this heartbreaking case, the trafficker was somebody acting in a guardian/parental role,” she said. “What a more horrifying situation can you imagine for a child?”
Moody also said the case came to light because of an anonymous tip. And she encouraged anyone who suspects they have knowledge of similar cases to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
“Because of that brave person reporting anonymously to law enforcement, this case was developed,” she said. “And a child was rescued from a tormenter.”
The other seven men charged Thursday are:
- Matthew Christopher Doyle, 39, Spring Hill, arrested in Hernando County (full-time East Lake Fire Rescue lieutenant and a part-time registered nurse at Bayfront Health Brooksville);
- Joseph Andrew Easton, 24, Inverness, arrested in Citrus County;
- Bryan Joseph Giguire, 46, Homosassa, arrested in Citrus County (Southeast Florida regional manager for PowerDMS, a policy management software company);
- James William Hancock, 67, Delray Beach, arrested in Palm Beach County;
- Shawn Christopher Henson, 39, Newberry, arrested in Gilchrist County;
- Latchman Kaladeen, 49, Wesley Chapel, arrested in Pasco County (active ICE detainer);
- Jason Michael Raulerson, 46, High Springs, arrested in Alachua County.