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AwarenessNewsNorth CarolinaNorth CarolinaPerpetrators

10 arrested in York County child exploitation operation: ‘These predators are out here’

Predators from North and South Carolina traveled to York County looking for sex with children as young as 10, deputies said Monday. Deputies said 10 people were arrested in “Operation Home Alone,” which was underway from March 10-14. The operation took place at several different spots, including an abandoned home in Fort Mill, South Carolina, deputies said.

“Seven of the 10 arrestees, dubbed as travelers, actually came to the residence or attempted to come to the residence of the operation,” deputies said. “The ages of the children they thought they were coming to have sex with were 10 to 17 years old.”

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson described the web as having “holes” and “crannies” that can be used for people to prey on children.

AwarenessNewsSex TraffickingSouth Carolina

Private Investigator: Sex trafficking surging during pandemic

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH)–The pandemic has led to a surge in sex trafficking , according to a private investigator who is based in the Midlands.
Investigator Chandra Cleveland has helped rescue many victims from sex trafficking.
“Last year almost to the date, of a 14-year-old that I had been looking for with her mother and father for nine months — almost 10 months — ended up finding another 14 year old with the same guy that was on house arrest for the same crime,” Cleveland said.

NewsSexual ExploitationSouth Carolina

Columbia man accused of sex crimes against children online

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A Columbia man faces numerous felony charges after an investigation of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

NewsPerpetratorsSex TraffickingSouth Carolina

Three brothers arrested for human trafficking in Lancaster Co.

Lancaster Co., SC — Three brothers were arrested Thursday and charged with human trafficking and related offenses, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office reports. Sheriff Barry Faile said, “This was an exhaustive investigation. When it began we had little to go on. This victim is a courageous young lady, and she provided us enough pieces of the puzzle that investigators were able to put together the picture and identify the men and the location involved. These men preyed upon a particularly vulnerable young person and committed atrocious crimes against her. I am most appreciative of the efforts of our investigators and those of SLED, HSI, and the Attorney General’s Office.”

NewsSex TraffickingSouth CarolinaSurvivors

Lawsuit alleges three Aiken County motels knew about, profited from human trafficking

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. — Three Aiken County motels are being sued for allegedly knowing about and profiting from sex trafficking that occurred at their property between August 2017 and 2018.

The plaintiff, represented by attorney Daniel R. Dalton of Mickelsen Dalton LLC in Mount Pleasant, is described as a female resident of South Carolina who is a victim of a “severe form of trafficking,” according to a complaint filed Thursday through the Second Judicial Circuit. At each location, the plaintiff was told by her trafficker to decline housekeeping; the trafficker paid for rooms in cash or with counterfeit money and a large number of men and women would enter and exit where the plaintiff stayed. The South Carolina Attorney General’s human trafficking force task force is comprised of more than 300 different agencies across the state, including some in Aiken, and is working to get to the root of the problem.

AwarenessSouth Carolina

Simpsonville Groups Fight Human Trafficking

Simpsonville, South Carolina a workshop was held on the signs of human trafficking. Hotel staff at the Holiday INN Express & Suites were at the workshop learning about signs that they showed watch out for throughout the hotel. Nonprofit SWITCH was also helping put the workshop on. SWITCH wants to end human trafficking in the Upstate. It has five programs for survivors of human trafficking.

AwarenessNewsSouth Carolina

‘It’s happening everywhere’: SC human trafficking victim speaks out

Last year South Carolina was recognized as the most improved state combating human trafficking by Shared Hope International. Shared Hope International releases a report card each year regarding the status of each state.

AwarenessNewsSouth Carolina

Hurting, hunting Black Girls and Women: Facing a devastating sex trafficking crisis not limited to vans, strangers and abductions

“As I kept hearing the stories—after they have been gone for days—it started adding up like this was a plot,” said Ms. Cleveland, who runs a group called It’s On Me 2. “Someone knew what they were doing in order to get these girls.”

AwarenessNewsNorth CarolinaPerpetratorsSouth Carolina

Davidson college professor on leave, arrested following online child exploitation investigation

Michael Thomas Bovino, 38, of Mooresville, NC, and nine others were arrested in an online child exploitation investigation involving 13 state and federal law enforcement agencies across North and South Carolina.

AwarenessNewsNorth CarolinaPerpetratorsSouth Carolina

Jail phone catches plan by NC inmate to have wife, mom pimp girls for his bail

Zerrell Fuentes, 25, of Charlotte, NC, made a series of phone calls from inside jail to lay out a plan that had his wife, Brianna Wright, and mother, Tanya Fuentes, travel to Myrtle Beach, check into a hotel, then traffic three female minors as prostitutes in hopes to use the cash for Fuentes’s bail.