Feds: Teen Sex Trafficking at CLT Motel

 Charlotte, NC —   Serious accusations from federal agents who say teen prostitutes were bought and sold repeatedly inside a Charlotte motel’s rooms. 

The Red Roof Inn off of Queen City Dr. lost it’s franchise Thursday, and the motel owner could also lose the property. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a civil notice detailing three years worth of crimes federal agents say happened at the Red Roof Inn: sex trafficking of teens as young as 15, cocaine and crack deals, robberies. 
 
WCCB Charlotte’s Courtney Francisco spoke inside with an employee Thursday. 
 
He says he started working there two months ago and did not know about the crime accusations.
She asked how criminal activity like child prostitution could go unnoticed.
 
 “Once you go in your room, what are you going to do? I don’t know,” said the employee who did not want to reveal his name. “You buy room in your name, and you put somebody in your room, how can we, right?”
 
The U.S. Attorney’s civil notice says law enforcement has been trying to work with owner, Chandresh Patel, to clean up the motel for nearly two years.
 
    The investigation officially started in 2012. In court documents, undercover agents detail at least eight cases of child prostitution here. 
 
     One 17-year-old described a pimp selling her to 10 men in two days.
 
    Agents say pimps paid off motel managers and maids to keep quiet. 
 
    Undercover police say they dealt cocaine in front of a motel clerk.
 
I tracked down the motel owner’s father.
 
     He tells me he has no idea about the crime accusations or losing the Red Roof franchise. Patel’s attorney, Hap Pearce,  wrote WCCB Charlotte:
“The owners of Red Roof Inn was [sic] recently advised of alleged criminal activity took place at the hotel in the past. An investigation is currently underway and the owners and their attorneys are in regular communications with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, [sic] and are taking actions to resolve the issues raised in the affidavit fired in this case. New management was recently employed at the hotel and new procedures have been implemented to promptly eliminate the conditions that may have lead to any criminal activity in the past. The hotel owners intend to continue to fully cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, in order to prevent any further problems at the hotel.”
 
The motel employee told WCCB Charlotte, “That’s what we’re trying now, check the ID and everything, just follow what the police say.”
 
The motel owner will now have to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office or face losing the property.
 
    The Red Roof sings were removed Thursday. The corporation wrote:
“Red Roof Inn has terminated its franchise agreement with the Inn located at 3300 Queen City Road, Charlotte, NC. Once we were made aware of the situation, swift and immediate action was taken to terminate this franchisee’s agreement with the brand. This property is no longer part of the Red Roof brand. Red Roof is contacting current guests as well as those with prior reservations to ensure that they will be accommodated at the nearest Red Roof Inn or another Inn of their choice.
Red Roof is working with Federal Authorities.”