GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve found the ring-leader of an ongoing prostitution network covering a large portion of eastern North Carolina.Deputies arrested the alleged ring leader Thomas Arrington Wade at his Greenville home. Wade faces 22 charges. He is now in the Pitt County Detention Center under a $250,000.After several years of complaints, deputies were finally able to put Wade behind bars leaving neighbors and those who knew him in disbelief.
Deputies arrested the alleged ring leader Thomas Arrington Wade at his Greenville home. Wade faces 22 charges. He is now in the Pitt County Detention Center under a $250,000.After several years of complaints, deputies were finally able to put Wade behind bars leaving neighbors and those who knew him in disbelief.
Detectives with the Street Crimes Unit discovered Wade had been facilitating and promoting more than 30 different females over the internet for prostitution.
When Judy Mizell came home last night all she saw was dozens of unmarked police cars at Thomas Wade’s apartment.
“I’m just shocked,” Judy Mizell said.
Neighbor Byron Phillips said, “It’s kind of bizarre, you know it’s kind of strange because I never would’ve expected him.”
Byron Phillips lives next door to the suspect and says they had a good relationship. He describes Wade as nice and generous. Phillips and other neighbors say they saw multiple women coming in and out of the house but never suspected prostitution.
“I never really thought anything of it but hearing that I’m like wow,” Phillips said.
Deputies say Wade used Craigslist and Backpage.com as a way to advertise the women.
The suspect’s home sits one block between two different schools. In one direction is Eastern Elementary and in another is Trinity Christian School.
Sheriff Elks says Wade told deputies he took the women in to help them get back on their feet.
Sheriff Neil Elks said, “He was trying to rescue people that were in need, and a lot of them were rehabilitating drug addicts, and in his mind he was serving his community.”
Sheriff Elks says the investigation is ongoing, but there is potential for the case to change drastically.
“We’re looking at a possibility the participants, the ladies being under 18 and that would fall under the rim of human trafficking,” Sheriff Elks said.
Detectives are in the process of interviewing the women involved.
The investigation is ongoing and Wade is expected to face more charges. He’s currently at the Pitt County Detention Center under a $250,000 bond.