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CORAL SPRINGS, FL – It sounds a bit like Abraham’s argument with G-d.

If it were only drugs would it be enough? If it were only housing issues would it be enough? If it were only raging arguments about drug abuse treatment facilities would it be enough?

Apparently, the answer in Coral Springs is I guess not. Add sex-trafficking to the list. And with a twist, but we’ll come back to that.

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A few weeks ago, the Palm Beach Post announced the arrest of a ring of sex-traffickers.

Aside from the ugly, ugly nature of the crime—kidnapping, sexual abuse, and forced prostitution—this is a crime that often starts at night. Worrisome is this. In cities with train and bus stations, girls, and an occasional guy, are spotted on the sidewalk with “that look”—lost and frightened. Most are easily identifiable because they are dressed like they are not from where they are looking lost and frightened. Someone befriends them and down the rabbit hole to hell they go.

But Coral Springs doesn’t fit that picture. I’m guessing these are runaways from the area or “undocumenteds;” the same MO is none-the-less used.

The victims are then “broken.” The abuse can be psychological. Being locked in a room, in maximum prison-like conditions and not allowed contact with anything outside that room. The abuse is usually physical.

But they are rewarded with drugs and become addicts or more badly addicted than before. They are raped, repeatedly, most by men but occasionally by women. Beaten badly for the slightest infractions. Eventually the Stockholm syndrome settles in and the victim is a physical slave psychologically bound to her owner convinced that without this person they’d be dead on the streets.

You are outraged about a possible fourth drug treatment house going up next door?

Unless you have a sharp eye out, it might take you weeks or months to get a sense that something very wrong is going on right under your nose. Or that the runaway girl’s mother with whom you’ve shared tears, and about whom you’ve been giving endless tips to the cops might be right down the street in the “The House of The Rising Sun.”

Most sex trafficking rings I’m aware of are run by men, black or white. They are mean, evil, and felonious types. They are sociopaths. Some are psychopaths.

Congratulations Coral Springs, you get an asterisk and footnote to the story. The ring that was broken up was run by two women, women in legal name only. One was from Coral Springs. One was 18 and one was 19. Try to imagine girls that age doing to others what I’ve described above, praying I’ll bet more on illegals whose fear of running away is heightened by the fear of ICE returning them to their homeland to be treated even worse by local gangs.

There is rarely a story like this that has a happy ending.

Even when freed, as opposed to OD’ing or dying from a disease infected needle or a hot-shot of heroine, the impact of the PSTD, the wasting away of self-image, the sense of being bad people not worth being uplifted is powerful. Sometimes so powerful it can take years, even decades to overcome—if ever.

And now we can tie two stories together.

These children and their parents are desperate for help. Enter the myriad of (very expensive) drug treatment programs. As the English in Cockney-town would say, ‘Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice.”

And like at the carnival, both choices are usually bad ones.


Read William A. Gralnick’s recent columns for TAPinto Coral Springs:

How Much Is That Doggy In The Coral Springs Window?

Beware, Oh Coral Spring People, the Danger of the Flat Headed Dog

Cock-A-Doodle Doo in Coral Springs: Mail-in Ballots, Elections, and Our Barely Still Great Nation

Coral Springs: He’s Your Sheriff, Too.

Who Will Make Best Decisions About Your Kids In Coral Springs Schools This Year? You.

The Future For John Lewis’ Past As It Impacts Coral Springs


A resident of South Florida for more than 30 years, Bill Gralnick has written more than 900 op-eds and columns for newspapers around the country, including columns for the Brooklyn Eagle.

His latest book, found on Amazon.com, Kindle or paperback, is the coming-of-age memoir, “The War of the Itchy Balls and Other Tales from Brooklyn.”

His writings can be found on his website: williamgralnickauthor.com


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