Connect with us

Tampa News

Tampa ‘Madame’ Faces Charges for Allegedly Operating Trafficking and Prostitution Rings



Tampa Woman Accused of Human Trafficking

A Tampa woman is accused of being a ‘Madame’ and running a human trafficking and prostitution ring across two counties.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested Lina Payne, accused of luring women from Venezuela and Colombia and forcing them into prostitution to repay debt. Court documents reveal that law enforcement has been investigating Payne’s businesses since 2021, including two locations in Manatee County and two in Hillsborough County:

  • 3323 West Cypress St., Tampa
  • 8907 Regents Pk. Dr. #330, Tampa
  • 1417 Cortez Rd., West Bradenton
  • 7446 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Investigators also arrested Karen McGlynn, who managed Jackpots Spa in Manatee County for Payne and was allegedly part of her enterprise.

“It’s definitely in plain sight,” said Pamela Woody, the founder of Tampa Bay Advocates Against Human Trafficking, highlighting that massage parlors operating late at night are a significant red flag.

“There’s a lot of bad stuff happening behind closed doors,” she added.

Investigators reported that Payne frequently traveled to South America. One survivor recounted that Payne loaned her $40,000 to $50,000 to come to the U.S., a debt she had to repay by working as a massage therapist at Payne’s spa.

The survivor was unaware of the true nature of her debt repayment.

“They come here thinking that they’re on the path to a better life. You know, they’ve been duped. They’ve been coerced into this life,” Woody explained.

Surveillance by investigators showed men entering these establishments at all hours. Many ‘Johns’ interviewed admitted paying $220 for a massage and sex with the attendants.

In July 2023, investigators reported a call for help from inside Latin Relaxation Massage in Bradenton. When officers arrived, the woman who called was gone.

In October 2023, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office conducted an operation to recover human trafficking survivors, including some from Payne’s network. However, FDLE investigators noted that this did not deter Payne.

Woody emphasized the varied road to recovery for survivors.

“The key is to get them into a trauma-informed environment so they’re not re-traumatized beyond what they already have been through,” she said.

Investigators stated that Payne pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from trafficking women. She faces RICO charges along with several other charges. FOX 13 News reports this news.

Are you on social media? Check out our profile for more videos! Follow @TampaLatest for up-to-the-minute updates in Tampa, Florida


Receive Alerts To The Latest News!

* indicates required