Craven County, NC

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Craven County is located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The county’s population is 100,720, and the county seat is the city of New Bern. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented throughout the county. To combat the demand for commercial sex activity, and often in response to neighborhood complaints, undercover investigations and reverse stings have been conducted.

In October 2016, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) set up a reverse sting following a call notifying them of a possible sexual assault in James City. Investigators recovered a video of a suspect who had been contacting prostituted individuals on, meeting them, raping them, and robbing them. The investigation discovered that the man was a former Craven County middle school teacher. He was charged with felony first degree rape, felony assault by strangulation, felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, felony first degree sex offense; and felony crime against nature. The case intensified in December 2016, when the CCSO received another call about suspicious activity at a hotel in New Bern. When officers arrived, they discovered suspected prostitution activity and potential human trafficking. Two men were arrested and charged with human trafficking of an adult victim, sexual servitude of an adult victim, promoting prostitution for profits and promoting prostitution for advance. The men had been trafficking the victim on In an attempt to locate the victim from the video, investigators say they then set up a sting operation on Two more individuals were charged with human trafficking of an adult victim for sexual servitude. Deputies say five others, including a county commissioner, responded to the post, and were given a criminal summons for attempting to patronize a prostitute. The commissioner, who also worked as a Craven County Sheriff’s deputy and Bridgeton Police officer, resigned following his arrest. By the end of the investigation, ten individuals had been arrested. All identities were released publicly.

In January 2017, a Wilmington woman and her husband were arrested in Craven County on prostitution and drug charges, following an investigation that included interviews and surveillance photographs at a Bridgeton hotel. The investigation began when police noticed that a number of visitors were staying at the hotel for only an hour at a time, at which point they began surveillance. Officers seized cash, heroin, needles and syringes, phone records and other printed material and items related to prostitution. The New Bern Police Department assisted in the search with an officer and a drug dog. One individual was charged with prostitution, possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a dwelling to sell heroin and resisting arrest. She was also served with a fugitive warrant out of Wilmington for heroin possession. She was jailed at Craven County Jail under a $250,000 bond. Her husband was charged with possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a dwelling to sell heroin. He was jailed under a $100,000 bond.

Also in January 2017, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Pamlico County Commissioner in a human trafficking sting, resulting in his resignation after 8 years in office. The man was one of 10 people who were arrested during the sting at a hotel in New Bern, NC, and was charged with attempting to patronize a prostituted woman. The man had also recently been hired as a police officer for Pamlico Community College. He resigned from that position as well.  His law enforcement certification was terminated, preventing him from seeking work as a sworn officer anywhere in the state.

Key Partners

  • Craven County Sheriff’s Office
  • New Burn Police Department
State North Carolina
Type County
Population 100720
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