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Chefs of Napoli owner, Citrus men arrested in sex-trafficking case

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Brad Bautista

Citrus County Chronicle

Two Citrus County residents and the owner of a regional chain of restaurants were among 10 people arrested May 16 in a human-trafficking investigation that lasted two years.

One of the restaurants, Chefs of Napoli IV, is in the Heath Brook Commons area at 5400 SW College Road in Ocala.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, which announced the arrests in conjunction with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Florida Office of the Attorney General on May 17, one of the people arrested is accused of selling a female teenager in their care to men for sex via the internet. That person's identity was not released to protect the identity of the girl, who police said was being sheltered "well outside" the Tampa Bay area.

The unnamed person was charged with human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

The other nine people arrested by FDLE, all men, face charges of human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and lewd and lascivious battery.

All 10 people arrested in connection with the case are being held without bond.

Authorities said many of the alleged sexual batteries took place in Hernando County, but added that the unnamed person would drive the girl to other counties to meet with men who had paid to have sex with her.

Authorities began the investigation after receiving an anonymous tip about an online ad posted to various websites offering sex for money.

Also arrested May 16 were:

- Luigi Barile, 38, of Spring Hill. Barile was arrested in Hernando County and is the owner of Chefs of Napoli, Inc., according to the Florida Division of Corporations. According to the restaurant chain's website, it has locations in Spring Hill, Ocala and Wildwood, and formerly had an Inverness location.

- Joseph Andrew Easton, 24, of Inverness. Easton was arrested in Citrus County.

- Bryan Joseph Giguire, 46, of Homosassa. Giguire was arrested in Citrus County.