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Southport man pleads guilty to human trafficking charge

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By Sam Hickman

 A Southport man pleaded guilty to human trafficking of a minor in Brunswick County Superior Court on Monday, March 17.

Superior Court Judge Claire V. Hill sentenced Shawn Christopher Conley to serve a minimum of 80 months — more than six years — and a maximum of 108 months in the North Carolina Department of Correction, according to a release from the district attorney’s office.

In November 2012, the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department began an investigation into an Internet-based prostitution operation through social media websites. The investigation involved incidents that took place between Nov. 27, 2012, and Jan. 27, 2013.

On May 6, Conley, of North Twin Lakes Drive, and Kyle Bradley Wolfe were arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution of a minor. The charge against Wolfe, who is incarcerated at the Brunswick County Detention Facility, is pending.

Assistant District Attorney Daniel Thurston prosecuted the case. Lead investigators were police chief Brad Shirley and detective Richard Spencer.

Conley previously was indicted in connection with the attempted armed robbery of a former Brunswick County police officer who was fired after being charged with participating in the prostitution of a minor.

Conley, Wolfe and Matthew Dillon Vaczy are accused of trying to rob Michael Alan Hayes, a former lieutenant for the Northwest Police Department, on Nov. 27, 2012.

Conley was being held on several charges, including first-degree burglary, aiding and abetting armed robbery, larceny of a firearm and breaking and entering.

 

Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or shickman@brunswickbeacon.com.