On 5-29-14 my friends Larry and Miami were charged with “Human Trafficking” among other things but that was the big charge. Larry owned and operated a restaurant named “Nikki’s” in the Zona Norte of Tijuana. Over the past couple of years many untruths have been told, and I can honestly say I do not know the entire truth.
I met Larry one time before he open Nikki’s and he was a nice enough guy. I met Miami at Nikki’s were she worked as more a less the scheduler of the ladies and in promotion for the bar. I got to know her much better than Larry, as you can imagine he had his plate full running that business. He was always a friendly and jovial guy, and very fair with me. I often would arrange small parties at his bar and have maybe 10 to 15 in attendance generally for the birthdays of some of our Team Juanita chicas. Beer was inexpensive and Larry was always happy to hose our small events.
In addition it was set up or turned into a Sports Bar with DirceTV and the facility was very nice. A group of maybe 15 or 20 would spend the entire day on NFL Sundays in the bar,eating all three meals at his establishment. For us, the place was Tijuana’s version of Cheers. The chicas were constantly coming and going but we were there for the football. Now some of us would be there for the Monday game, the Thursday game, the college games and we loved it. We were given the remote controls and would spend a lot of time and money there. There was nothing like it in Tijuana.
As for the food, the menu was diverse. You could get BBQ or bar food and many things in between. I would often get the Grand Slam breakfast in the morning, which as I remember was eggs however you wanted them, bacon, sausage, beans, hash browns and pancakes with a glass of juice. Some of my favorite meals were the breaded chicken patties covered with gravy and mashed potatoes, or shrimp quesadillas, or chili dogs or corn dogs. Larry always had a moderately price offering for Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years with all the trimmings.
So what went wrong? That is a question that everyone has a different answer for. One thing is not in question is that Larry sent a guy to Columbia to find chicas. He wanted Colombian prostitutes as his goal was to have women from all over the world. His agent brought back three Colombian’s but they were not exactly what he was expecting. The young one was 23 and the other two were in their 30’s and none were interested in being a prostitute. Initially he was disappointed, but eventually realized that they were more valuable in the bar drinking than spending time in a room with a client. Larry could earn money of the drinks but not off of prostitution. They just were not the right three chicas, and we were all thinking how hard could it have been to get 3 prostitutes in their early 20’s. We kind of think the agent sold the girls a false sense of goods. Now Larry was very fair in providing an apartment for the three and paying a salary better than other bars paid. Now when most of us think of Human Trafficking we think of ladies forced into prostitution, having their money taken and not earning money that they could keep. In a very general sense these ladies could have fallen under the human trafficking laws, but in all fairness they were not even prostitues, were paid a fair wage, and given decent housing. When the ladies wanted to return home Larry bought them their plane tickets.
Someone got involved and had one of the older chicas make a statement that she was forced into prostitution against her will and filed a complaint. It seems Larry and Miami were charged without a good investigation and it took nearly two years for them to get a Not Guilty Verdict. In those 23 months they were moved from Mexico City, to Nayarit, to Tecate and eventually back to Tijuana. Larry became very ill and was not given much treatment in Tijuana. He has lost his sight, his hearing and his ability to walk. On top of that he now has Tuberculosis which of course in not anything nice.
Miami is currently staying with her parents in San Diego County and seems to be in good spirits. They were both released from prison late night on Tuesday the 26th of April,2016.
Now here are some misconceptions about them.
First Larry was not a pimp. He was so over worked that he had hired and fired several different people to manage the chicas. Larry was a long time client of the paraditas or girls who work in the street, and many of them had worked a little in Larry’s bar.
Miami was not a prostitute. She wrote the schedule for the waitresses and did odd jobs around the bar as requested. She was compensated with a room that had a shower but not bathroom. But a public bathroom was close by. By the way unlike other places Nikki’s always had spotless bathrooms.
There were not big bags of drugs or money found in the bar when raided or any dead bodies. Many untruths circulated when they were taken into custody.
It would be nice if those of you that do follow this blog say a prayer for the two of them.
In the meantime I know many of you are coming down for the Memorial Day weekend. Whether you do or don’t, be safe wherever you are.