Third suspect arrested in Pender County human trafficking investigation

Third suspect arrested in Pender County human trafficking investigation
Mackenzie Thigpen (Source: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office)

PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A third suspect has been arrested in connection with a human trafficking investigation in Pender County.

Mackenzie Merrell Thigpen, 25, was taken into custody Tuesday while attending court in New Hanover County. He was charged with:

  • Human trafficking - adult victim
  • Promoting prostitution - advance
  • Promoting prostitution - profit
  • Felony conspiracy

The sheriff’s office said Thigpen utilized social media platforms with the photo below.

Mackenzie Merrell Thigpen
Mackenzie Merrell Thigpen (Source: Pender Co. Sheriff's Office)

Anyone with information on Thigpen is asked to call Detective-Sergeant Steve Clinard or Detective-Sergeant Eric Short at 910-259-1437.

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