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Teen safe; three in jail

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Maurice Spencer


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A runaway teenager was in the custody of state officials on Monday, and three people she was with are in jail under human trafficking and prostitution charges.

Greenville police arrested the three on Friday after a report that the girl was attempting to use counterfeit money at the Dollar General at 814 S. Memorial Drive.

The girl told police she was staying with friends in a hotel, the department reported. After talking to her, officers determined that she was a 14-year-old runaway from New York.

An investigation revealed she was staying at the Quality Inn, 821 S. Memorial Drive. Maurice Spencer, 21, of Leesburg, Fla.; Jalonda Graham, 19, of Albany, N.Y.; and Ashley Nicole Thomas, 20, of Washington, N.C., were arrested at the hotel, police reported.

The three are believed to have been involved in prostitution, police spokeswoman Kristen Hunter said, but law enforcement still is investigating whether the girl was being prostituted.

Spencer was charged with human trafficking a child victim and promoting prostitution. He was jailed at Pitt County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond.

Graham was charged with human trafficking a child and aiding and abetting prostitution. She was jailed under a $200,000 secured bond.

Thomas was charged with aiding and abetting prostitution and was jailed under a $5,000 secured bond.

The teen was physically unharmed, police said. Her parents were contacted, and she was placed in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Justice, police said.


Contact Sharieka Breeden at sbreeden@reflector.com and 329-9567.