Woman accused of sex trafficking friend in Miami Beach

Police: Elizabeth Knowles, man known as ‘Treez’ lured victim to South Florida with ‘birthday trip’

Elizabeth Knowles (MDCR/WPLG)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Georgia woman is facing multiple felony charges after Miami Beach police accuse her and a man of luring a woman to Miami Beach and forcing her into prostitution.

According to an arrest report, 20-year-old Elizabeth Michelle Knowles, of Eatonton, Georgia, and her boyfriend, a man police identified only as “Treez,” asked the woman earlier this month if she wanted to join them in Miami for a “birthday trip.”

The victim told police Knowles was like a “sister” to her and has known her since she was 8 years old.

Police wrote that the victim had met “Treez” with her in August at a Georgia nightclub.

According to the report, on Tuesday, the three drove to South Florida in the victim’s car and, after arriving at her hotel, “Treez” immediately demanded that she begin working as a prostitute.

“Treez” told the victim that “she was going to answer online advertisements for prostitution, and/or walk the streets to find customers and that he would be taking the money,” police wrote. “Treez” then set up a personal ad for the victim.

The woman told officers she had previously worked as a prostitute on her own in South Carolina, but said that she told Knowles that she did not want to work.

Knowles then threatened to “beat her up” if she didn’t prostitute herself, according to the report. Police said Knowles told “Treez” about what the victim said and “Treez” pulled a gun on her and threatened to shoot her and her family back in Georgia.

On Wednesday, police said “Treez” saw the victim speaking to a man on Ocean Drive and Fifth Street and confronted both, telling them that he was going to shoot them.

The victim said she wanted to leave, but did not know what Knowles had done with her car, according to police.

She then flagged down a Miami Beach police officer, who located the car. The report states the victim then told the officer what happened to her.

The victim told the officer that she believed Knowles’ actions led “Treez” to pull the gun on her and said she was afraid that Knowles would provide him with addresses for family members in Georgia so he could carry out his threats.

On Thursday night, police said they had gotten a call from the victim that a woman, later determined to be Knowles, was at the front desk of her hotel asking to retrieve her property.

Police responded and took Knowles into custody.

According to police, Knowles had burglarized the victim’s car before police arrived and photos from her cellphone show a number of the victim’s items, plus her holding a Miami Beach police case card in her hand that the victim left in her car.

Knowles faces charges of human trafficking, deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution and burglary, all felonies.

She was taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

It’s not clear if “Treez” is in custody, though police wrote that they were able to identify him through “investigative means.”

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.