Officers rescue human trafficking victim, foil narcotics operation in South Beach

Miami Beach Police Department officers arrested seven men on Thursday night after an investigation that lasted weeks resulted in two search warrants at two apartment buildings along the 700th block of Jefferson Avenue in South Beach.

“This area is known by Miami Beach residents as a troublesome area,” said Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the department.

On Feb. 17, a 23-year-old victim of human trafficking that was trapped in the area called 911 to ask for help just before a severe beating.

The victim told officers she was struggling with suicidal ideations and described how she had been trapped in a cycle of abuse, prostitution, and addiction since the coronavirus pandemic began, police said.

Rodriguez said they had evidence the suspects were dangerous gang members. They were accused of dealing with crack cocaine and crystal meth and were heavily armed.

Officers identified the suspects as Jason Rivera, Luis Delgado-Hernandez, David Romero, Alberto Figueroa, Carlos Colon, Damian Herrera, and David Vega.

Delgado-Hernandez, 37, is accused of providing false information to a police officer and he is facing a charge of resisting arrest.

Vega, 37, Colon, 37, Romero, 38, Figueroa, 39, and Herrera, 48, face charges of cocaine possession. The convicted felons were also in illegal possession of a firearm.

Rivera, 38, was accused of uttering forged bills, credit card fraud, and identity fraud. Rivera, Romero, Figueroa, and Herrera were facing charges of human trafficking.

About the Authors:

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.