PINEVILLE, N.C. — A man has been arrested and charged with human trafficking in Pineville following a lengthy investigation, the Pineville Police Department announced Friday. The victim and her two children are now on a "long road of physical and mental recovery," police said.
The crimes happened at two Pineville hotels: one on Centrum Parkway and the other on Pineville-Matthews Road, according to police.
Thomas Antione Miller, 26, and Shakeeta Lasha Adams, 25, were involved in "unspeakable violent acts" against a female victim, police said.
During the investigation, police said an adult, female victim came forward and said she needed help for herself and two children. Police said the woman was being held against her will at two different hotels. She was forced into sexual acts with random men, according to the investigation.
The victim, who will not be identified publicly by the Pineville Police Department or WCNC because she is the victim of a sex crime, was physically and mentally punished by Miller if she failed to meet a certain financial quota.
Police said Miller would verbally and physically abuse the victim, who was subjected to beatings and strangulation. Police said some of the violent crimes happened in front of her two children. The children were also assaulted at times but not victims of sex crimes, police said.
The three-week long investigation involved interviews, undercover surveillance and search warrants, police said.
It was also discovered during their investigation that many of the hotels in Pineville have put their employees and managers through training on the warning signs on how to spot human trafficking.
"It is important to recognize the initiative that has been taken by the Pineville hotels in getting their staff trained on this serious crime and that it won’t be tolerated here," Pineville Police said. "Human Trafficking in Pineville is extremely rare, and by having extra eyes and hears of hotel staff who are trained to spot this, amplifies the dedication taken to protect their hotel guests and to keep their safety as a paramount."
Miller was arrested and charged with human trafficking of an adult victim, sexual servitude of an adult victim, assault by strangulation, assault on a child under 12, assault on a female and communicating threats. Adams was arrested and charged with simple assault.
Pineville Police feel that there could be more victims out there, regarding Miller and Adams and are asking those victims to come forward to them.
Anyone with any additional information or if there are any additional victims out there regarding Miller and Adams, please contact the Pineville Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 704-889-2231