MIAMI SPRINGS, Fla. – Police and prosecutors said they’ve had enough of a Miami Springs hotel that they have determined is a hot bed for criminal activity.
A court ordered The Runway Inn Miami Airport Hotel closed at noon on Thursday. The injunction said the owners, Runway Partners, LLC, have allowed the property to become a public nuisance. Among other citations, the order stated that the hotel is within 1,000 feet of a Miami-Dade County Public School, which the City of Miami Springs in its complaint presents an “increased danger to the community.”
The hotel’s website had a notice posted on Thursday that “Runway Inn is currently undergoing renovations and is temporarily closed.”
The hotel’s assistant manager Miguel Sierra showed Local 10 doors inside the hallways that he said were busted in by police who stormed the hotel just before midnight on Wednesday.
Miami Springs City Attorney Haydee Sera confirms Runway Inn officially closed Noon today. Hotel Asst. Manager said some of their guests are on a fixed income - officials here said Homeless Trust is helping finding those folks a place to say. More from Miami Springs Police Chief: https://t.co/Cr78JkOmKu pic.twitter.com/3N9zylr8DR— Christina Vazquez (@CBoomerVazquez) September 17, 2020
“They walked in and just said, 'We are shutting the place down,” Sierra said. “I had kids that were scared. I had old people that were crying, they had guns drawn. They treated everyone as if they are criminals.”
The hotel was officially closed at noon Friday following a string of criminal activity, explained Miami Springs Police Chief Armando Guzman.
“Since January 2020, there has been a 300 percent increase in calls for service (to the hotel),” he said.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said that women and children were taken from the location who were being trafficked or were being provided drugs.
“There were arrests for narcotics, there were arrests for human trafficking, there were shootings,” Fernandez Rundle said.
The arrests at Runway Inn on Monday related to drug offenses coming a month after a human trafficking bust at the same hotel involving a 17-year-old man who was allegedly prostituting a 14-year-old victim in exchange for money and drugs.
(See the court order below)
On Aug. 11, Miami Springs Police responded to the Runway regarding a missing 14-year-old girl. A family member told police that she was inside the hotel room and was advertised on social media platforms and was being sold for sex by 17-year-old Javier Quintero.
Quintero was arrested on numerous charges, including human trafficking, interference with the custody of a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a child and possession of materials displaying a sexual performance by a child.
According to prosecutors, the victim told detectives that she was introduced to Quintero by a friend and began having a sexual relationship with him. The teen said Quintero told her she could make $250 an hour by performing sexual acts with men in exchange for money. She said that she would have up to five “dates” with different men a day. Authorities said Quintero provided the teen with a variety of drugs, as well, including MDMA, cocaine, marijuana and Percocet.
Sierra told Local 10 that the trafficking of the juvenile was “brought up because one of my employees spoke out to Miami Springs to let them know what was going on.”
Miami Springs’ police chief said: “Did we get calls from employees? Yes, but there are others we are convinced that knew exactly what was going on.”
In May at the same hotel, a 21-year-old woman who was allegedly forced into prostitution by a man who wanted to sell her services, was rescued by authorities.
On Aug. 17, two people were shot at the hotel. On Monday, Sept. 14, police arrived with search warrants and arrested 4 people on charges ranging from narcotics possession with intent to distribute to narcotics trafficking.
The Miami Springs Police Department was part of a multiagency task force that made multiple arrests at a local Miami Springs hotel last night. Click on the link to read more: https://t.co/hBjZqW6EAs— Miami Springs Police (@MiamiSpringsPD) September 15, 2020
Some of the hotel’s residents were on fixed incomes. Officials said the Homeless Trust is working to find them a new place to stay.