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FIRST ON 3: Northwest cop quit before prostitution arrest; warrant details allegations


NORTHWEST, NC (WWAY) -- Last week he was a police officer. Today he's out of a job and has been in and out of jail. A former Northwest police officer was charged in connection to an ongoing prostitution investigation in another Brunswick County town.

The SBI charged former Northwest Police Lt. Michael Hayes with solicitation of a minor for prostitution and filing a false report. He was released from jail on bond a short time later.

An arrest warrant says Hayes contacted a 17-year-old girl through a Craigslist sex ad, then met her in Boiling Spring Lakes and gave her $60 for a sex act.

The SBI says last week BSL's police chief asked the agency to help investigate Hayes. Northwest Police Chief Copelen Taylor says he learned about the investigation Saturday and suspended Hayes pending the outcome. He says the SBI called Monday saying it might file charges.

"It's a let down to the department and to the citizens, but he's human, and we make mistakes," Chief Taylor said.

Taylor says Hayes resigned Tuesday the day before he was arrested. Hayes wrote in resignation, "I have some issues I need to attend to in my personal life." Chief Taylor says he is disappointed.

"He apologized," Taylor said. "He was very, very disappointed in himself. He said he made a mistake. He didn't mean to hurt anyone."

The warrant says the false report charge stems from information Hayes gave a Brunswick County Sheriff's deputy about damage from bullet strikes to Hayes's car in November.

It's not the first time Hayes has been in trouble. In 1991 he was convicted of misdemeanor death by vehicle.

The woman named as the prostitute in the warrant for Hayes was also named in warrants for two men BSL Police arrested earlier this month for allegedly pimping her. At the time, Boiling Spring Lakes Police said they expected more arrests.

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