Two young girls are home safe after police said a Pinellas County man was arrested for human trafficking.
Clearwater police officers rescued two teenagers, Monday. ABC Action News spoke to the father of one of the girls. He believes the police department saved his 16-year-old and her friend from a horrible fate.
“He had them wipe off their fingerprints from everything. (He) told them not to comb their hair…brush their hair ‘cause he didn’t want hair…DNA in his car or in the house--condo,” the Hernando County father said.
ABC Action News is not identifying the father to protect his daughter’s identity. He feared both girls were being groomed for the sex trade.
“I guess they said that he fed them each a cracker for three days that they were gone and he would travel with only one of them at a time,” the father said.
Dad said the girls were saved when officers pulled over Giovanni Pergamo’s Uber driver Monday. Police charged Pergamo with human trafficking (intent and knowledge). They reunited the girls with their families.
“He deserves everything he gets and then some,” the father said.
According to the Clearwater police department, Pergamo pressured the 17-year-old friend to have sex with strangers for illegal narcotics and alcohol. The Hernando County father told us Pergamo drugged his 16-year-old daughter and she may have been too scared to leave.
“I think she could have. I think she was afraid because he had taken their cell phones and took their SIM cards out and locked them in the glove compartment of his car,” the father said.
Dad told ABC Action News his next move is to get his daughter counseling.
“She’s back home safe. Thank God for that. Thank God for the Clearwater police department,” the father said.
According to the Clearwater police department, their investigation is far from over.