ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- A long-haul trucker from Greensboro was arrested for human trafficking after a four-month investigation by the Burlington Police Department and Alamance County Sheriff’s Office.
Bryant Lamar Williamson, 23, is charged with one count each of human trafficking and abduction of a child.
The suspect is a trucker who investigators said routinely drove between North Carolina and California, but officials have not directly connected his job with the alleged crime.
The victim is a minor and is in protective custody, according to authorities.
Investigators said human trafficking is large crime that could continue to grow in the Triad because of the number of interstates that run through the Piedmont.
“This crime effects thousands of children across the nation every year,” said Sheriff Terry Johnson.
Neither Burlington Police nor the Sheriff’s Office wanted to identify how they were tipped off or where the investigation led them to in Alamance County.
“I’d rather not discuss that, it may show our hand,” said Johnson, who said more arrests are anticipated.
Investigators said they can draw a connection between prostitution in the area and the illegal smuggling of people.
“I think it’s something that has gone on and people are just not aware of it,” said Pat Nadolski, the Alamance County District Attorney.
Nadolski said this is the first human trafficking arrest since stricter penalties were put in place by state lawmakers. If convicted on the human trafficking charge alone, Williamson could spend up to 15 years in prison.
Williamson is in jail on a $250,000 bond.
The Burlington Police Department and Alamance County Sheriff’s Office announced the charges at a press conference Friday afternoon.