Pamlico Co. commissioner resigns after human trafficking charge

CRAVEN COUNTY, NC (WITN) - Pamlico County Commissioner Ken Heath announced Friday that he is resigning from his position.

Heath was one of ten people charged after a human trafficking investigation in Craven County last month.

In an email Heath said, "At this time I must spend every moment with my family. Therefore, I am resigning my seat as a Pamlico County Commissioner. I thank you for allowing me to serve you these past 8 years."

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A Pamlico County commissioner, who was also a part time deputy, was among ten people charged as a result of a human trafficking investigation in Craven County.

Kenny Heath, 46, of Arapahoe, was charged with attempt to patronize a prostitute on Tuesday.

The offense happened December 16th and Heath has a February 3rd court date.

Heath was just elected to his third term as county commissioner in November.

Deputies say Heath worked for the Craven County Sheriff's Office part time, but resigned before this happened to accept another law enforcement position. Heath also worked part time for the Bridgeton police, according to deputies.

Back in October deputies say they recovered video of a sexual assault suspect and released it to the media. They say no one came forward to identify the man. Then on December 2nd, deputies went to the Comfort Suites on Old Cherry Point Road and discovered possible prostitution activity.

That's when the human trafficking investigation began. Two people, Michael Miller and Alvin Wright, both of New Bern, were charged with human trafficking-adult victim for sexual servitude, promote prostitution for profits, and promote prostitution-advance.

Investigators say they then set up a sting operation on in an attempt to locate the sexual assault suspect who was on the video. Kevin Smith, of New Bern, was charged with first degree forcible rape, common law robbery, patronize a prostitute, and intimidating a state witness.

They also charged Paula Vanhorn and Jimmy Stokes, both of Chocowinity, with human trafficking-adult victim for sexual servitude.

Deputies say five others, including the county commissioner, responded to the post, and were given a criminal summons for attempting to patronize a prostitute.

The other four are Augustus McCraney, Jr., of New Bern, Milton Tripp, of Morehead City, Kevin Curtis, of Havelock, and Roy Riley, of Cherry Point.