5 behind bars as Fayetteville battles sex trafficking

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Five people were arrested in connection with a human sex trafficking operation.

Fayetteville police say five people were arrested and charged with human sex trafficking after a four-month-long investigation.

Now - many communities - such as Fayetteville - are taking steps to get help for the victims who've been lured into becoming sex workers.

Police say cracking down on human sex trafficking is a big, ongoing effort.

Usually they say the victims - some young teenage girls - are tempted with drugs or money, and then coerced into sexual service, usually at local hotels.

Their "services" are often promoted through social media and online personals.

The five arrested are:

  • Jeremy Shane Gentry Jr., 22, listed as homeless, has been charged with felony promotion of prostitution, felony conspiracy to commit human trafficking - adult victim, felony conspiracy to commit negligent child abuse - serious physical injury. He received a $100,000 secured bond at the Cumberland County Detention Center.


  • Stanley Dwayne Olaf Koberger, 24, of the 100 block of Alan Parker Circle in Spring Lake, has been charged with human trafficking - adult victim and felony conspiracy to commit human trafficking - adult victim. Koberger received a $100,000 secured bond at the Cumberland County Detention Center.


  • Kelly Brooke Morrison, 23, of the 5400 block of Jackson Street in Hope Mills, has been charged with felony negligent child abuse - serious physical injury. She received a $50,000 secured bond at the Cumberland County Detention Center.


  • Jonathan Michael Becker, 19, of the 7500 block of Branchwood Circle in Fayetteville, has been charged with felony conspiracy to commit human trafficking - adult victim. He received a $100,000 secured bond at the Cumberland County Detention Center.


  • Shirley Weatherholt-Becker, 45, of the 5600 block of Camden Road in Fayetteville, has been charged with felony conspiracy to commit human trafficking - adult victim. Becker received a $100,000 secured bond at the Cumberland County Detention Center.


One of the big weapons in this war on the flesh, is the Dream Center on Ray Avenue. In the past year, it has helped turn around the lives of 36 young women who were trapped in the sex-slave business.

Working with law enforcement, the clergy and other agencies to promote community awareness, Kelly Twedell said the Dream Center is helping young victims get away from their nightmare, and we can all help.

"If you see a young person who can't make eye contact, who is very withdrawn, controlled by an older adult, possibly much older, and something that could appear like a romantic relationship, that could be a sign - but not always," said Twedell, director of the Dream Center Outreach. "If you see someone carrying a lot of hotel keys and maybe two or three cell phones, that could be a sign."

Each victim, she said, has their own story, and needs. The problem is they are not always on the streets, and often hidden behind closed doors. That's why anyone who suspects human trafficking needs to call 911, she said.

If you, or you believe someone you know, is or has been the victim of human trafficking you are asked to contact Detectives with the Fayetteville Police Department by calling 910-433-1885 or Fayetteville / Cumberland County Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477).

Crimestoppers information can also be submitted electronically by visiting http://fay-nccrimestoppers.org and completing the anonymous online tip sheet, or by downloading the FREE "P3 Tips" app available for Apple devices in the Apple App Store and available for Android devices in Google Play.

Related Topics:
newssex traffickingfayetteville newsfayetteville police departmentsex crimes
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