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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Break down the bias Location: Greenville on Jul 17, 2009 at 09:41 AM
    Regardless of race, this is a crime against women. It is easy to blame "foreigners". Think about the people that are "purchasing" the services. Do you think they are foreigners? The women would not be here if there wasn't a market to fill and we are ignorant if we think that "Americans (regardless of race)" have nothing to do with this. If you want it to stop TAKE ACTION! Go to the park walk in October, do something.
  • by Jennifer Location: Kinston on Jul 16, 2009 at 03:00 PM
    John. You have no right to tell me I am wrong. I am proud of my white heritage. My great-great grandfather came from Germany and I am very proud of that. I am proud to be an American. I do work for what I have. I work hard to maintain my 3.8 gpa in college and I work hard at my job. I do not believe anyone should get a free ride. I think you forgot what we were talking about. The issue was: just because his name is hispanic, it does not mean he is Mexican. He might be any of the other hundreds of Hispanic races. AND, I did not call any one of you here racists, I only said racism exist. I did however call someone ignorant. If you look up the definition, it means uninformed. I was only informing you.
  • by john Location: washington on Jul 16, 2009 at 05:15 AM
    Jennifer,You see this all wrong.It's ok to be proud of your heritage(unless you are white).Just don't expect a hand out or to be able to slide around the system. I'm sure your ancestors came to the U.S.A. to work and build a dream because this is the greatest country in the world.I'm tired of being called a white racest just because I believe everyone should work for what they get,no free rides.My ancestors were from Europe but I'm not a European-American.I am an American,I am proud, and I apoligize for nothing.
  • by Jennifer Location: Kinston on Jul 15, 2009 at 06:32 PM
    For the record, I am half Mexican. I am also a fourth white and a fourth polynesian. My ancestors came from all over the world and I am proud of that. I am sick and tired of this stereotype that just because you are "brown" you are Mexican. My father is half white half samoan and has been asked on numerous occasions if he is Mexican or speaks spanish. He does NOT look one bit hispanic. I am outraged at the ignorance that takes place here in Eastern North Carolina. I love living here and had hoped to raise my family here; however, with all of the racism, I do not know if I can. My children will be brown, there is no doubt about that. I fear for their safety in this community. That is very sad considering they are not even born yet. Please, do not judge a person. We will all be judged in heaven. I do not think God wants us to turn against each other. And, by the way, I am legal and was born in this country. Do not judge me because I speak the truth.
  • by Concerned Location: Eastern Nc on Jul 15, 2009 at 01:53 PM
    This is a very serious issue and it isn't a recent one. Human trafficking is becoming a money making operation bigger than drugs... And most of the people (women, men & children)do not have a choice! They are beaten and starved into submission. Some of these comments are crazy. Some people need to open they're eyes, because its going on right under your nose...people are kidnapped, and forced into this, they don't chose it.
  • by S Location: ENC on Jul 15, 2009 at 12:46 PM
    Sure makes you wish Teddy Roosevelt were back in least he had the guts to say it like it should be,with no political correctness to worry about....unfortunately our politicians these days lack the courage to do so.....Our country really needs another Teddy!!
  • by Bam Bam Location: Near You on Jul 15, 2009 at 10:05 AM
    Amen John,and I say again AMEN!
  • by john Location: washington on Jul 15, 2009 at 08:10 AM
    Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907. "In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
  • by anon Location: e nc. on Jul 15, 2009 at 07:08 AM
    jennifer and white girl,my ancesters come here the lawful way,and i do not remember them draining the system,running prostitution rings,i don't think the overseas illegals are getting in the usa as easy as the cans from mexico and south america.we have to pay for the illegal minded no matter what race they are or where they are seems to be mostly from the south though.i am not ignorant.this is what it is becoming.i don't have any problem with other nationals in the usa legally,just do the right thing, not break the law and don't drain our system.and there is no such thing as african american,mexican american etc.if you are a legal citizen in the usa and you want to live in the free world of the usa then you are an american. you may have other country's heritages but you are not both if you were born and raised in the usa can you see yourself moving to iran or somewhere like that and call yourself american-iran girl!they would correct you real quick! americans should run america
  • by White Girl on Jul 15, 2009 at 06:14 AM
    All of you who are ganging up on Jennifer are ignorant. Just because someone may speak Spanish and be hispanic or have a hispanic name, does not mean that they're here illegally. Many people in America have ancestors from Mexico, but have lived here all their lives. Every last one of our ancestors came to America as immigrants. What makes you more privileged to be here than someone whose family may be from Mexico?? Get over yourselves. It's time to realize that there are more important things to worry about in the world. News flash - there are Caucasian, African American, Asian, Hispanic, etc. individuals living in this country doing things illegally - including, committing crimes such as prostitution, "overseeing", and human trafficking. None of you are better than anyone else, especially when you enjoy putting other races/nationalities down.
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