Prison Sentence for Elaborate Crime Utilizing Technology to Find Victims

Today Titayana Vega, 20, was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison, with a 10
year minimum/mandatory sentence, followed by 10 years of probation. She was sentenced for
one count each of: First Degree Burglary while Masked and Armed, Kidnapping while Masked
and Armed, Kidnapping, and Robbery with a Firearm. This was a complex case involving an
elaborate scheme using technology to find victims and then rob them. A joint partnership
between local, State, and Federal agencies led to bringing this case together.

There were three defendants charged by the State Attorney’s Office following the investigation
started by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. The evidence showed Vega and her co-defendants
used various technology to try to get away with their crimes. They would place ads, on the now
defunct, Backpage website paid for with Bitcoin cryptocurrency. They posted photos of women
they found online. They would then use different phone numbers generated by a messaging app
based in Canada. Vega would entice the victims to go out and meet up in person.

Once they found a target they would rob them. In one instance, on July 18, 2017, they entered a
home in Lehigh Acres occupied by a family. The group was wearing masks, gloves, and were
armed. Two of the defendants were involved in robbing another victim days later outside of a
restaurant at a popular mall in Lee County.

Three days after that robbery one of the co-defendants, Eric Minns, was arrested following a
traffic stop. He had stolen firearms in his vehicle belonging to the family in Lehigh.

The State Attorney’s Office worked with the Department of Justice to access records from the
app company based in Canada for evidence in this case. The Florida Department of Law
Enforcement (FDLE) also assisted in the investigation by gathering phone tracking information.
Vega was then arrested with the information developed. The evidence included her computer IP
address linked to the online ads and photos uploaded.

Minns was sentenced previously to 20 years in prison for his involvement in this case and a
second case. A third co-defendant is scheduled for sentencing next week.

Assistant State Attorney Christine Cummins handled the cases.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office