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Rampant prostitution in Hialeah causes business owner to relocate

Local 10 investigates impact of prostitution on area businesses

HIALEAH, Fla. – A South Florida business owner claims rampant prostitution and other illegal activity forced him to move out of a Hialeah office building.

Eddie Martinez told Local 10 News that the property's landlord and police did nothing about it.

"I saw your story ... and I saw that (suite) 302, and I knew exactly what it was," Martinez told Local 10 News investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier.

Earlier this month, a Local 10 News hidden camera investigation exposed what really goes on behind closed doors in several Hialeah businesses that advertise spa and body treatments.

Women in several of those places offered sex and other sexual services to their clients.

This activity caused Martinez, who owns the surveying and engineering firm Zurwelle-Whittaker, to move out of his office at 1140 W 50th St. last year.

His firm was down the hall from one of the "businesses" featured in our original story. 

Martinez said the illegal activity Local 10 News exposed made working in the office building unsafe and unsanitary for his employees.

Female employees were often approached by men who were sent to the wrong office, seeking sex, Martinez said.

Men would often show up to the office with cases of beer, Martinez said.

"My female employees, when they go to the bathroom, a lot of times those working ladies would be in the bathrooms, almost bathing themselves in the bathroom that doesn't have shower facilities," he said.

What was even more shocking for Martinez is what came up when he did a Google search for escorts in Hialeah.

"My office address popped up," he said. "When I clicked on it, it even gave the suite number. It was 302."

Martinez provided Local 10 News with several letters he sent to the landlord, dating back to last October, alerting of the problems. In one letter, he accuses the landlord of doing nothing to solve the issue.

"The girls in my office called Hialeah (police) on numerous occasions," Martinez said.

But Martinez said he never saw any police.

State records show 1140 Towers Investments Holdings owns the building and Raymundo Gonzalez is general member. Gonzalez hung up on Weinsier.

A woman named "Sonja," who works in the rental office, refused to talk to Weinsier as well.

Martinez is now the second person who claims to have notified Hialeah police about illegal activity in the building and said nothing was done.

"We are currently conducting our investigation and will not be providing any comments at this time," Hialeah police Sgt. Carl Zogby said in an email to Local 10 News.

Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez refused to comment.

However, Local 10 News now knows police are reacting to the investigation. Red evidence tape now seals the door of suite 302, and a detective's card is taped to the door.