FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) --Fayetteville police rescued two women this week from a human trafficking operation that landed in local hotels.
On Monday night, authorities received a phone call from the first woman's friend, who informed authorities that the young lady had been texting her for help from the Days Inn off Skibo Road. Police began knocking door-to-door until they found her room.
"She was telling them very loudly that she didn't need any help, that she didn't need any help," said Lt. Tim Tew of the Fayetteville Police Department. "But at the same time, she was letting the officers know that 'Yes, there was somebody in there and she did need help."
Authorities said the Rock Hill, South Carolina woman had allegedly been held captive for several days by two other women, Vanessa Robinson,23, of Fayetteville and Tiffany Lindsay,23, of Dunn . Tew said the woman had been taken to the pair by Dakim Gregory,28, a Fayetteville man she'd recently met in the Charlotte area.
"He befriended her, took her out a few times, built that trust..." said Tew. "Seems to me that she was probably being groomed for what they did."
Once the pair arrived in Fayetteville, they got into some sort of disagreement.
"There was an altercation at another hotel and he basically dumped her off on the two females that were arrested."
Tew said Robinson and Lindsay tortured the woman and sold her for sex out of a room at the Days Inn.
"They held her, used a tazer on her, held her by gunpoint...," he said. "She was, from what she tells us, forced to use drugs and they would not let her go until she'd made a certain amount of money based on sexual servitude to the people they were bringing in."
Witnesses say the women went to the hotel pool Monday evening. That's when the victim was able to text her friend who contacted police.
Robinson and Lindsay were both arrested Monday, and charged with first degree kidnapping, human trafficking, sexual servitude and possession of cocaine and MDMA. Gregory, who Tew said goes by the name "Gucci," was arrested and charged with two counts of human trafficking and two counts of sexual servitude, due to another victim found this week.
Once the first victim was treated and released from the hospital, family members took her back home to SC. Police said she helped lead them to another woman in Fayetteville who was being trafficked by the same group.
On Tuesday, Fayetteville authorities issued search warrants on several hotels. They would not specify where, but said they were able to rescue that second victim who had gone through a similar ordeal.
"For people who would say there's no human trafficking in North Carolina or Fayetteville, they just don't know," said Tew, who works with the department's Prostitution Diversion Initiative. "It's common. Doesn't matter where you're at, it's an issue and it needs to be addressed and awareness is a big key to that."
Tew said the department is working with other state agencies and federal authorities to complete this investigation.
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