Human Trafficking

In Collier County today, Gary Cherelus was sentenced to 20 years in prison for two counts of human trafficking and two counts of tampering with a witness. Cherelus was also declared a sexual predator after pleading no contest to the charges.

Cherelus coerced his victims with threats, violence and drugs to get them to engage in prostitution. He was part of an organized criminal enterprise profiting from the sexual exploitation of his victims.

Assistant State Attorney Deborah Cunningham of our Special Victim’s Unit handled the case and adds, “This resolution protects the victims from having to go through a trial. Hopefully it also sends a message that these crimes won’t be tolerated.”

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office