Human Trafficking Happening In Your Backyard

Back in June of this year, Pitt County Sheriff's deputies raided a home off of B's Barbecue Road. Inside they found what they called an illegal operation.

"There were three females prostitutes and one overseer or what's common known as a "house man", who takes up the money." says Investigator C.B. Congleton with the Pitt County's Sheriff's Office and the newly found Human trafficking Task Force.

Detective Congleton says they arrested 26 year old, Miguel Angel Hernandez Gonzalez, and charged him with maintaining a dwelling for prostitution, a misdemeanor.

Detective Congleton say Hernandez-Gonzelez could also be charged with a felony for human trafficking.

He says although two of the women claimed they were in the business for the money, the other woman in the home claimed she was forced into it.

Pam Strickland Is a co-founder for the eastern "North Carolina's Stop Human Trafficking Now" Organization.

According to The Department Of Justice, close to a million trafficking victims enter our country a year and the numbers keep rising, with the act of forced prostitution or labor goes unnoticed.

Which is why Strickland and her co-founder Pastor Mike Williams organized eastern "North Carolina's Stop Human Trafficking Now" group back in May.

Pastor Mike Williams says, "Educating people and making them aware so when they see something like this taking place they know what's going on they can recognize it and they can inform the sheriff's dept or somebody that this is going on."

Here are some possible signs a person maybe a trafficking victim:
* Evidence of being controlled
* Evidence of inability to move or leave job
* Bruises or other signs of physical abuse
* Fear or depression
* Not speaking on own behalf and/or not speaking local language
* No passport or other forms of identification or documentation.

If you know of someone in Eastern Carolina that falls in these categories contact the Pitt Co. Sheriff's Office at (252) 902-2TIPS.

National Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

The eastern NC "Stop Trafficking Now" organization will hold a walk October 3 at 10am at Boyd Lee Park in Greenville to raise awareness and funds to create programs to help victims.

Contact Pam Strickland at

Click on the link below for more information on Human Trafficking.

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