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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –- Two men are behind bars in Wilmington after police say they kidnapped teen sisters from North Dakota and forced them to work. And they are not the only teens involved.

Investigators say the 15- and 16-year-old sisters ran away from home in Fargo, ND, earlier this month under the impression they would make a lot of money working for a door-to-door magazine company.

“They were staying at a hotel in Lumberton, NC, and then, they moved from Lumberton to Wilmington,” WPD Det. Thomas Tilmon said. “They said they made that move because law enforcement was kind of catching up to them.”

Officers say the girls only made $20 for eight hours of work, and when they asked to leave, police say Jeremy Dean Moots, 22, and Justin Angermeier, 28, refused.

“Basically, they were cut off from communications, and they made requests to contact their parents, and made requests for bus tickets home, which were being denied,” Tilmon said.

Investigators say the sisters were not the only teens involved in this trafficking scheme.

“Part of our operation was to go to each individual hotel room that the company had rented and make sure there were no other juveniles there. I can tell you that there were two other 18-year-old men from Knoxville, TN,” Tilmon said. “They were adults, but they had also made the same claim that they wanted to go home.”

Both men are charged with human trafficking, involuntary servitude, second-degree kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency and neglect of a juvenile. But in court, Moots said he is not to blame.

“I’m definitely not guilty of this,” he told a judge during his first appearance.

He said he was not in control at all and only bought tickets for the girls because the company, which he said is Midwest Circulation, told him to.

While Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Roberson says Moots and Angermeier were not the masterminds of the operation, she says allegations show they were managers and were definitely in control of the girls.

Det. Tilmon says the men could face additional charges. He says if you see a child selling things door-to-door that are not Girl Scout Cookies or school fundraisers, call 911 immediately.

A WPD spokeswoman says the girls’ parents have been contacted, and they are on the way to Wilmington.

Comment on this Story

  • Sissy Chubbs

    I know all about these Magazine Crews and be very careful people. Not only is it a total scam but most of the kids that knock on your doors are troubled kids that are found online by an ad that tells them that they will make a ton of money traveling the entire US. What they don’t know is that they will be treated like crap, most likely beat, not paid well, staying in filthy motels with a bunch of druggies. If they want to go home they will either get beat, left in the middle of no where with out any money, or cut off from the world and they will make them work. These Mag Crews and the managers are awful. I believe these girls were being held against their will because I know others that were as well and even worse. Glad these 2 are in jail. Its the only place they deserve to be. Justin is dangerous. I know him personally. He is a pos.

  • rick garner

    What I would like to know is why is the owner boss,ringleader still out of jail driving her bmw,hummer and recruiting more kids to do her dirty work for her?Just here in Pa.she owes the state like half a million dollars.If that was me they would have locked me up and thrown away the key.something is wrong with this picture

  • Guest2020

    “hey kidnapped teen sisters from North Dakota and forced them to work”

    What those families are going through is to be laid at the feet at the men who kidnapped those girls.

  • emily

    These men have families those girls weren’t scared like was said they’d been out there before there friends with the kids they worked with online they were scared maybe for themselves that they got caught that probly y they were scared both of those men have people that depend on them and this will haunt there families and lids forever cause even when they do get released there families will have to live with the memories and pain forever. One of the men has two small kids and is missing there lives image how hard this is on his wife or how about the other man pregnant girlfriend how is she doing

  • msshale

    the whole point is these two girls are “minors”… those grown men knew better no matter what they were doing… they were brought across state lines which is illegal….I don’t care if these men have families or not, they knew better.. they should of called the police if they didn’t want to be in the middle this and had those girls sent home. you may think you know someone but truth is you don’t!!

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