CMPD Creates Human Trafficking Task Force

CHARLOTTE, NC — Kenwaniee Tate is the latest man indicted for sex trafficking of a minor in Mecklenburg County. The U.S Attorney’s Office made the announcement Monday, the same time CMPD announced a new task force to get suspects like him off the streets.

“We’re really going to focus in on the enforcement, the identification of people involved in human trafficking, especially those victims involved,” said CMPD Major Michael Adams.

To do that, police are training hotel workers in what to look for.

“If people are coming in, there’s unusual activity going on, there’s things they can pick up on, make us aware of it,” said Major Adams.

The feds busted a former Red Roof Inn on Queen City Drive last September.

The hotel lost its franchise after agents say workers turned a blind eye to drugs and prostitution for years. In October, police arrested a man and woman they say convinced a 15-year-old girl to prostitute herself at the Quality Inn on West Woodlawn Road.

“The biggest problem we face is identification of victims, because the victims have been coerced into believe if they come and work with law enforcement they’ll be arrested or deported,” said Special Agent Nick Annan with Homeland Security.

Police say the task force will partner with community agencies to get girls the services they need to escape.

They also want to get the word out to parents. Talk to your kids, especially when big events come to Charlotte, prime time for pimps to prey.

“There are people who are just so good at pulling the wool over people’s eyes and telling them they’ve got a modeling agency or a job for them,” said Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

CMPD, Homeland Security, the U.S Attorney’s Office and local FBI will all be part of this task force.