Investigators say sex trafficker found victims through social media

A man is accused of trafficking twin sisters and sexually assaulting them, and investigators say it all started on social media.

"The best that we know of now is that he was operating alone," Detective Matthew Sadler said.

Derrel Russell is in jail after police say he sex trafficked twin 14-year-old sisters from South Carolina.  

"I think this would be a cautionary tale, this case," said Sadler.

Investigators say during their four-month investigation they determined Russell had lied about his age, and originally met the sisters through Facebook messenger.

At some point, police say Russell went to the twins' home in Blacksburg, S.C. to pick them up and bring them to a house in Cleveland County where he raped one of them. 

"It's tough to see that there is someone out there that is praying on young girls like this."

The victim eventually told a school resource officer about the attack and that's when an investigation began. 

As the investigation went on, Detective Sadler said he even posed as the 14-year-old victim. 

"When I got her phone I carried on as if I was her and so we were able to establish what we are meeting for. It was very clear what we were going to meet for," he said.

Russell was arrested Tuesday at an elementary school in Shelby. His bail is set at $1 million.