Charges against a local man accused of human trafficking and involuntary servitude have been dropped by the prosecution, according to an attorney involved with the case.
Daniel Linder was charged by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in June of 2021 with six counts each of human trafficking an adult victim and involuntary servitude. Investigators at the time said the victim was Linder’s 21-year-old girlfriend, who had passed away the previous March from what was believed to be a drug overdose.
Warrants obtained by The Rant in 2021 indicated that Linder was alleged to have made the victim “perform labors by means of repeatedly requesting money through various internet applications to include images of a nefarious nature” while “providing a controlled substance for the purposes of having her earn additional monies for additional controlled substances.”
At the time, Linder was jailed under $2 million secured bond.
But Thursday, Linder’s attorney, Fred Webb of Sanford, issued a statement saying “all of these matters were dismissed,” and attached a copy of the dismissal dated August 5.
“There is insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution for the following reasons,” read the dismissal signed by prosecutor Tiffany Batholomew. “VICTIM IS DECEASED AND UNABLE TO TESTIFY.”