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Police: man met girl online, forced her into prostitution

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

A convicted felon was arrested on Tuesday after police say he forced a South Carolina girl he met online to prostitute herself on Charlotte streets.

Tony Drum is charged with human trafficking of a child; facilitating a minor's prostitution; supervising, supporting and protecting a minor’s prostitution and attempted human trafficking. He was being held in Mecklenburg jail on $150,000 bond.

When the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension team arrested Drum on Tuesday, they said a second alleged victim was in his car.

Investigators say Drum met a girl through an online chatroom. In August, he drove to South Carolina to pick her up. When they arrived in Charlotte, “Drum then forced the victim into prostitution,” according to a police press release.

Police say an officer made contact with the girl while she was walking alone and discovered that she was listed as a missing person. He ultimately contacted sexual assault detectives about his suspicions of human trafficking.

The detectives obtained arrest warrants for Drum, who was arrested on Wilkinson Boulevard near Little Rock Road Tuesday morning.

Drum has been convicted of several crimes, according to a search of criminal records conducted by the Observer.

In 2000, he was found guilty of breaking and entering, larceny and making a false bomb report. He was found guilty of forgery and uttering in 2001. In July of this year, he was found guilty of attempted larceny.

Police encourage anyone with more information about Drum or this incident to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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