ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. – A 19-year-old woman was taken from Florida to Alamance County and used as a sex slave, according to Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson.
Johnson held a press conference along with the Graham and Burlington Police Departments Thursday to release some details of the case.
Authorities said investigators hoped this case would shed light on an ongoing human trafficking problem in the Piedmont.
"There's a whole lot of this going on that we don't know about because it is kept secret. The victims are beaten. The victims are threatened," Johnson insisted.
Allen Harris, Jr.,22, Julia Anna Farias, 29, and Vanessa Jeanne Snyder, 33 are all charged with human trafficking, sexual servitude, kidnapping and felony conspiracy to human traffic, according to officials.
Investigators said the three suspects brought a 19-year-old woman from the Ft. Meyers, Florida area to Graham, N.C. They used a local boarding house while forcing the woman to have sex with as many as 10 men a day for a month.
Harris was arrested for probation violations in Florida and should be extradited to North Carolina soon.
Officers are still trying to find Farias and Snyder, the two women accused in this case.
Police first started investigating when someone reported concerns about the teenager involved.
It took months to investigate and officers said they found the victim on October 1st. They said she had run away and feared for her life. They worked with her until she was ready to talk, and District Attorney Pat Nadolski was finally able to get charges filed on the three suspects.
"Human trafficking is a long-existing problem, but it's only now getting the due attention that it needs and requires," Nadolski pointed out.
World Relief High Point works with these types of cases frequently. Rachel Parker helps groups and law enforcement agencies collaborate to identify human trafficking and help victims.
"If we have someone being victimized in our community and our home area, then what does that say about our society?” Parker said. “What does that say about our neighborhoods we're thinking are safe but aren't safe?"
Parker said there are six rapid-response teams in the state prepared to help.
Sheriff Johnson said they hope this case is just the beginning of local agencies working together.
FOX8 asked if they are organizing a formal Anti-Human Trafficking taskforce, and Johnson said they discussed it as recently as today.
"We're certainly looking toward that. Possibly asking for help from the Governor's office financially because any time you put a taskforce together, it requires manpower,” Johnson said. “It requires equipment."