MIAMI — In a story you’ll only see on Channel 9, we’ve learned a man whom police in Charlotte have been looking for is in jail in South Florida, accused of human trafficking.
Days ago, Channel 9 crime reporter Mark Becker reported that 25-year-old Jamil Graves cut off his electronic ankle monitor in May while out on bond in Charlotte.
He'd already been arrested 42 times in Mecklenburg County alone.
Overnight, Eyewitness News learned Graves has been in a Miami jail for more than a month, facing a long list of charges that could send him to prison for life.
In his most recent mug shot after being captured in Miami, Jamil Graves cut off his hair and changed his appearance.
Graves, his twin brother, Jaleel Graves and a woman, China Blount, are all accused of kidnapping a 20-year-old Charlotte woman in May.
(Jamil Graves, China Blount, and Jaleel Graves)
According to a police report, the victim told investigators that Jamil Graves showed up at her grandmother's house in Charlotte and said they were going to Atlanta.
The trio reportedly drove her to Atlanta, where the victim said Jamil Graves told her he wanted her to work as a prostitute because she could make a lot of money. According to the Florida state attorney, when the brothers thought she might escape, they drove her to Miami.
Police said the three, all suspected gang members, placed ads on a website and rented hotel rooms where people could come and pay to have sex with the victim.
Officials said the victim reluctantly agreed to work as a prostitute once in Miami, but when she refused to do it again, they began to argue in the car.
Fortunately, the woman escaped from the car after a fight broke out between the brothers.
During a June 21 news conference, Florida State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle described those initial moments.
"He says, 'I'm gonna kill you before I go back to jail' as he's choking her and yelling at her. The brother, Jaleel, concerned about the visible scene that was occurring, tries to calm down his brother and what's happening. That begins an altercation -- a verbal argument between the two brothers," Fernandez Rundle said. "This victim sees a moment, and she seizes the moment to escape, and she breaks away and runs down the street out of that car so fast, and she gets to a Miami Beach police officer. And that was the beginning of her freedom."
Jamil Graves, Jaleel Graves and Blount each have warrants in North Carolina but it’s unclear when or if they’ll be brought back to Charlotte. They’re being held in Miami without bond, charged with kidnapping and human trafficking.
They face life in prison if they’re convicted of all the Florida charges.
Cheryl Jones, with Charlotte Mecklenburg Courtwatch, said the group tracked Jamil Graves' criminal history for several years, and she said the new charges in Florida are further proof that he never should have been out of jail.
"It shouldn't have gotten that far," Jones said. "That's the scary part."
Jones told Channel 9 Jamil Graves is one of hundreds of people who shouldn't have been released from jail.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has been very vocal about the electronic monitoring system and its role in habitual offenders, like Jamil Graves, getting out to commit more crimes.
Community leaders said they're sick and tired of criminals being let out of jail on the promise of wearing an electronic monitor, only to cut it off and commit more crimes.
Putney and the district attorney will host a community conversation about the issue Thursday night. They are hoping to brainstorm ways to reduce violent crime.
That meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Queens University Sports Complex on Tyvola Road.
Cox Media Group