JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WTXL) - An agent has been awarded for his key role in dismantling a human trafficking organization that was operating brothels in six states to include Florida and Georgia.
Special agent Lawrence Borghini has been selected as the recipient of the FBI’s Civil Rights Program Award, in recognition of his efforts to dismantle a criminal human trafficking organization.
The award, presented once annually, highlights exemplary work in civil rights investigations.
The three-year investigation into the illegal operation began in June 2013, when an adult female was kidnapped from her Panama City Beach home by two unknown men.
She later escaped, alerting police in Mississippi.
Borghini found and arrested one of the kidnappers, Jacobo Feliciano-Fransisco, who he learned was a member of a human trafficking organization.
It was revealed the victim had been targeted for her prior cooperation with law enforcement in a case that resulted in the arrest and deportation of 13 organization members.
After Feliciano-Fransisco was successfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison, Borghini continued investigating, identifying additional organization members who were actively operating brothels in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.
As a result of Borghini's persistence, eight more people were arrested for commercial sex trafficking, five of whom were leaders of the organization.
Thanks to Borghini's hard work, agents say the organization was dismantled.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery – a heinous crime that the FBI is committed to helping end in our communities,” said SAC Spencer. “As this investigation shows, Special Agent Larry Borghini works tirelessly to identify these criminals, and disrupt their efforts to exploit others. His dedication, commitment, and professionalism are respected among our law enforcement partners, and we are proud to have him working with us to protect northeast Florida.”
Borghini is a 22-year veteran of the FBI, and is assigned to the FBI Panama City resident agency. He has served residents of the Florida panhandle for five years.