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Man wanted for trafficking women, children in Romania arrested in Keys

Catalin Lupu, 51, found squatting in Sugarloaf Key home, turned over to feds

Catalin Lupu, 51, was arrested Saturday in the Florida Keys. He was wanted for trafficking women and children in Romania.
Catalin Lupu, 51, was arrested Saturday in the Florida Keys. He was wanted for trafficking women and children in Romania. (Monroe County Sheriff's Office/WPLG)

SUGARLOAF KEY, Fla. – A 51-year-old man wanted for trafficking women and children in Romania was arrested Saturday morning in the Florida Keys.

Catalin Lupu was turned over to U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Sugarloaf Key home where he was squatting, Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokesman Adam Linhardt said.

Deputies began investigating Friday after they were called by a real estate agent about possible trespassers at the house on Jamaica Lane. When a deputy arrived about 1 a.m. Saturday, he found a backdoor open and could see food and water on a kitchen counter.

While the deputy was awaiting backup, Lupu walked out of a bedroom and was taken into custody, Linhardt said. A 49-year-old man was also found sleeping in another bedroom.

Deputies soon learned that Lupu was wanted by Interpol and was in the U.S. illegally.

There were no women or children in the home, Linhardt said.

Lupu is now in federal custody. The other man was not arrested.