Clyde house of prostitution was fronted by pet store
Clyde’s new police chief has only been on the job a few weeks. But Terry Troutman already had his hands full before he even got sworn in.
“It’s mind-blowing that we had a prostitution house in Haywood County, much less in Clyde,” Troutman said.
In early April, Clyde police busted up an alleged prostitution operation. Beginning in early March, the agency worked in coordination with a multi-jurisdictional task force in Haywood County.
Located at 7937 Carolina Blvd., the prostitution house was not a big operation.
“No, but it was getting bigger by the day,” Troutman said. “Near the end they were open 24-7.”
The prostitution operation was apparently marketed via social media. It attracted clients from around the region. Among the clientele was apparently several registered sex offenders.
“We were getting them from Georgia, South Carolina, Knoxville,” the chief said.
Law enforcement conducted surveillance prior to obtaining a warrant and moving in. The action resulted in two arrests.
“We caught one in the act at the time,” Troutman said.
James Ramsey, 29, who Troutman described as the “ringleader,” was arrested along with Vicky Cecero, 25. Ramsey has been charged with promoting prostitution, maintaining a place for prostitution, felony conspiracy, as well as a charge stemming from an out-of-state fugitive warrant from Georgia. Cecero has been charged with felony conspiracy to promote prostitution.
Authorities are also looking at further possible arrests and are currently trying to determine if more people were involved.
“It’s expanding to more than what we thought, more girls than we thought,” said Troutman.
The suspected prostitution operation was apparently being run out of the back of a business called Wild Things Plantation. The storefront consisted of animals for sale. It featured ducks, chickens and goats.
“Had a couple dogs, snakes, crabs,” said Troutman. “Sort of like a pet store.”