DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Eighteen people were arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution in an anti-human-trafficking operation run by the Durham County Sheriff's Office at a hotel Thursday. The sheriff's office said this was the largest number of arrests in a single day for this crime.
Deputies in the Anti-Crime and Narcotics Unit teamed up with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to make the arrests.
The sheriff's office also said investigators took an Xbox 360 with games, methamphetamine and cash given in exchange for agreed-upon services.
The people charged are:
- 21-year-old Brandon Eugene Williams of Wake Forest
- 43-year-old Tyrese Roger Pledger of Columbia NC
- 55-year-old David John Griffin of Broadway
- 58-year-old Ronnie Eugene Knight of Sanford
- 33-year-old Raul Sanchez-Viniegra of Durham
- 42-year-old Moses Romero Luna of Durham
- 62-year-old Thomaskutty Mathal of Cary
- 49-year-old Suresh Reddy Male of Cary
- 60-year-old Russell William Cramer of Holly Springs
- 51-year-old Troy Wilburn Smith of Cary -- also charged with possession of a controlled substance.
- 50-year-old Dean Anthony Wayne of Fuquay-Varina
- 64-year-old John James Streicher of Durham
- 33-year-old Raul Aguilar Fernandez of Raleigh
- 30-year-old Sergio Lagunes Cruz of Durham
- 40-year-old Jose Manual Garcia of Durham
- 21-year-old Elias Jose Rivera of Durham
- 32-year-old Angel Solis Hernandez of Cary
- 28-year-old Trevor James Harris of Richlands, NC -- additional charges pending
According to the Durham County Sheriff's Office, the agencies are trying to deter human trafficking by targeting those who solicit prostitution. They hope this targeted action will lower the chances of women and other human trafficking victims being exploited.