Home News Drugs, death, prostitution: New details in Treasure Coast human trafficking case

Drugs, death, prostitution: New details in Treasure Coast human trafficking case

Drugs, death, prostitution: New details in Treasure Coast human trafficking case

ST. LUCIE COUNTY − Daniel Rhodes got women addicted to drugs and dependent on him for their supply so they’d engage in prostitution as he controlled interactions with “buyers” and kept money for himself.

At least one person reported being involved in “sex work” for Rhodes for about 13 months beginning in October 2018, and they moved from motel to motel in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce and Vero Beach.

One woman died in Port St. Lucie in April 2020 after Rhodes injected her with a drug mixture containing fentanyl, despite a person telling him not to do so. 

These are details in court records released this week supporting the arrest of Rhodes, 42, on felony charges of human trafficking causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement, and manslaughter following a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation. 

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Almost all names are redacted from the arrest affidavit, and the person who died was not identified.

Rhodes was booked in the St. Lucie County Jail on Monday.

He’d been served with an arrest warrant Dec. 12, not long before his scheduled release from prison on drug and prostitution charges, FDLE officials said.

Statements in the 21-page affidavit explain how Rhodes set the prices for the sexual encounters and advertised on the internet. He reportedly initially told one woman he’d keep 20 percent of the money, but kept everything.

Rhodes gave drug injections before and after each encounter.

“This arrangement meant that the more prostitution dates the women completed, the more drugs they received,” records show. “Rhodes would then use the money earned from their prostitution to buy drugs and pay for hotel/motel rooms to keep his operation going.”

Injections for one person reportedly grew to about 12 a day “due to her growing dependence and increased workload,” records state.

One person reported Rhodes took her wallet, which contained her driver’s license, debit and credit cards, Social Security card and birth certificate. He said he’d hold it so it wouldn’t “get stolen,” but the items weren’t returned.

Investigators reported learning Rhodes got drugs including heroin, cocaine, Molly and fentanyl and often mixed them.

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The medical examiner reported the cause of death of the woman who died in April 2020 was “acute intoxication” from fentanyl and cocaine. It was ruled an accident.

One person housed in the same area of the St. Lucie County Jail as Rhodes at one point told investigators he’d known Rhodes for 16 months after meeting “through the illegal drug business on the streets of Fort Pierce.” Rhodes was a “steady buyer,” and he sold Rhodes a total of a pound of Molly.

This person said Rhodes was known on the streets as a “pimp” who bought drugs for “the girls.” He said he saw Rhodes inject three women with Molly, all of whom were sex workers working for Rhodes.

Rhodes was arrested Sept. 4, 2020, on methamphetamine- and prostitution-related charges by Fort Pierce police following an undercover prostitution sting at Motel 6 in the 2500 block of Peters Road, an affidavit states.

Rhodes in June 2021 pleaded no contest to soliciting prostitution and sale, manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver methamphetamine, records show. 

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He was adjudicated guilty, and part of his sentence included 30 months in prison. 

An attorney for Rhodes in the recent case was not listed.


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