Former Lawton man involved in possible human trafficking case - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Former Lawton man involved in possible human trafficking case

Aris Hines (Source Alamance County Sheriff's Office) Aris Hines (Source Alamance County Sheriff's Office)
Brandi Thomason (Source Alamance County Sheriff's Office) Brandi Thomason (Source Alamance County Sheriff's Office)

GRAHAM, NC (KSWO) -In 2011, a Lawton man found himself becoming the caretaker of eight foreign student athletes who were conned into coming to America to play basketball for a school that didn't exist.

The man, Aris Hines, and his fiancé, Brandi Thompson, are now involved in a possible human trafficking case out of North Carolina. Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said the Alamance-Burlington school system did not know that a student athlete from Nigeria was registered illegally.

Eighteen other students in Robeson County are now under investigation.

The investigation began when the student athlete visited a teammate’s home and said he did not want to return to the home.  

Hines and Thomason are charged with submitting fraudulent documentation to enroll the student, obstruction of justice and obtaining property by false pretense. Authorities believe Hines has connections in Nigeria and that a third person in the U.S. is involved.

“Due to the involvement of the State Department, I have tasked our investigators with following all leads and continuing to interview persons who may have knowledge of this case. These arrests may be the tip of an iceberg that we intend to break,” said Sheriff Johnson in a news release.

In all, around 100 kids might be involved. The investigation could take six months.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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