ALAMANCE COUNTY, NC - A human trafficking ring was busted in Alamance County Monday after several agencies combined to find seven potential victims and arrest six.
The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, the Office of the Alamance County District Attorney, Burlington Police, Graham Police, Haw River Police, the N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement, NC State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security all conducted 'Operation Moonlight' Monday. Moonlight was a covert investigative and outreach operation focusing on human trafficking. Most of the investigation centered on prostitution, some of which was suspected of being forced.
“Human trafficking is not only a criminal offense but is a crime against humanity,” Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said. “The collaborative efforts of both law enforcement officials and support services made this operation a success.”
A release from the Sheriff's office only said the operation was done at 'a controlled location in Alamance County.'
"At this time, we’re not gonna be able to go into details about how we did this or even where. We had a controlled location here in the county that we utilize, where all this took place. We had 30 people involved in this," said Randy Jones, Public Information Officer for Alamance County Sheriff's Office.
No charges of soliciting for prostitution were initially made. All victims were offered support services by Alamance for Freedom, which is a non-profit organization that provides victims with services like food, clothing, shelter and other kinds of support.
Jones said said, "We’ve seen a lot of people being victimized by this, and it needs to be addressed in a stronger sense."
In terms of arrests and charges, Jones said the Sheriff's Office focus was to try and get some relief for potential victims.
"I think people need to realize that and that’s what we’re looking at with human trafficking and why we’re working with human trafficking trying to dig into it," Jones added.
As a rural area, Jones said Alamance County is an appealing location for traffickers, similar to gang-related cases the Sheriff's Office has dealt with, because the issue receives less attention and there are less resources to address them.
The six arrested were:
- Levina Conyers, 22, of Greensboro, charged with Driving While License Revoked Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
- Christian Alexander Blakely, 22, of High Point, charged with Possession of Marijuana (misdemeanor) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
- Elizabeth Lynn Locklear, 46, of Greensboro, charged with Possession of Cocaine and Possession drug Paraphernalia.
- Destini Imani Frazier, 18, of Sanford, arrested as a Fugitive (Probation Absconder from the State of Florida).
- Evelin Lopez Umana, 31, of Burlington, charged with Possession of Marijuana (misdemeanor).
- Tia Marie McMillan, 37 of Pittsboro, arrested for a probation violation.
"Peripheral charges we did do. We’re not gonna ignore that, we’re not gonna ignore cocaine and fugitives regardless," Jones commented.
Several others were suspected of trafficking the victims and identified, prompting other investigations.
This investigation is ongoing and more charges may be coming.
"We’re following up on the leads and where we reached out to the people involved in the transportation and the facilitation," Jones mentioned.
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