Hope Mills couple charged with human trafficking has previous drug charges - WFLA News Channel 8

Hope Mills couple charged with human trafficking has previous drug charges

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A Hope Mills man and woman charged with human trafficking have been arrested before on drug charges and other charges. Local police are also investigating the couple.

According to Jacksonville Police, officers arrested 36-year-old Robin Applewhite and 29-year-old Samantha Rivard, both of Hope Mills on Sunday, July 21. The two are charged with human trafficking and conspiracy, along with various drug charges.

Arrest records show Applewhite and Rivard were arrested separately on July 11 at the Candlewood Suites off Sycamore Dairy Road in Fayetteville after someone reported suspicions of drugs in their hotel room. Both were charged with drug possession and other drug charges.

Rivard and Applewhite are charged with human trafficking after a woman says she was taken from Cumberland County to Jacksonville and forced into prostitution. Jacksonville Police say the woman was held in sexual servitude.

Fayetteville police say there is an ongoing investigation related to the couple's arrest in earlier this month, but police could not say if it was related to the arrests in Jacksonville. Authorities did say the Fayetteville investigation is "similar in nature."

Hope Mills police also said they have investigated the couple. According to records, an officer pulled over Rivard in a traffic stop in April. That stop led to an investigation at the couple's home in Hope Mills. That investigation was related to drug possession.

Hope Mills police said detectives never saw evidence of prostitution at the couple's home on Applegate Road, but they are trying to figure out if it was happening there or even at other places the couple rented for that.

Applewhite is in jail on $800,000 bond. Rivard is being held on $700,000 bond.

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