Mickey Dale Snow was long gone by Sept. 25, the day Eden police intended to make him their fourth arrest in a bizarre prostitution case — a mother accused of pimping out her underage daughters to old men.
Snow, 75, already had left the country by then, arriving first in South Korea before landing in Thailand, his destination.
He was there with his Thai-born wife on Oct. 5, when a Rockingham County grand jury indicted him on six counts each of having sex with a child and patronizing a prostitute.
Five days later, he was moving again.
In an arrest warrant filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Greensboro, the FBI paints a picture of Snow as a man of considerable means, crisscrossing the globe to elude arrest.
According to the five-page document, Snow fled to Amsterdam and then to Panama, where he was denied entry into Costa Rica. Panamanian police, noting the sex crime charges some 2,000 miles away in Rockingham County, sent him back through the Netherlands to Thailand.
Snow sold properties and drained accounts, the warrant says, “to travel, to remain abroad and to avoid returning to the United States for a considerable amount of time.”
On Sept. 25, only the Eden Police Department sought his arrest.
Less than a month later, he’s being pursued by the FBI, the U.S. State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Royal Thai Police. Snow is charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, a federal crime, and will be deported the moment he’s caught.
All to get him to a court date in Wentworth.
John Price, a special agent with the FBI’s office in Greensboro, referred questions about the warrant he filed Tuesday to an FBI spokeswoman in Charlotte. She provided a statement that repeated information contained in the warrant.
The charges against Snow were part of a larger investigation by Eden police into an alleged underage prostitution ring. The federal warrant for Snow’s arrest provides the most details to date about the case.
On Sept. 10, police learned that two teenage girls told the Department of Social Services they had been prostitutes since January 2013. Their clients were older men, they said. And their mother brokered the deals.
Police that day charged their mother — 52-year-old Teresa Vanover of Carolina Avenue in Eden — with 24 counts of child abuse by prostitution and 24 counts of promoting prostitution.
The mother would take the girls to various men, who gave Vanover money in exchange for performing sex acts on the girls.
Compounding the community’s shock, police also arrested Thomas Obie “Tommy” Woodall, 66, of Vaughan Street.
Woodall is a popular barber in the Draper section of Eden, someone known for his practical jokes, his self-appointed position as “mayor of Draper” and his annual portrayal as Santa in the Draper Christmas parade.
Woodall was charged with 12 counts of statutory sex offense and 12 counts of patronizing a prostitute.
On Sept. 22, Eden police arrested a third person: Everett James Ferris Jr., 67, of N.C. 770. He was charged with six counts each of indecent liberties with a child and patronizing a prostitute.
The three are in the Rockingham County jail, each held on a $5 million bond.
The police had gathered enough evidence by Sept. 25 to charge Snow with six counts each of statutory sex offense and patronizing a prostitute. Tuesday’s warrant alleges that the girls were 13 and 15 when Snow paid Vanover to perform sex acts on them.
But Eden police couldn’t find Snow to arrest him.
Snow had long maintained homes in Eden and in Ormond Beach, Fla., where he operates Snow Enterprise and Snow Enterprises Southeast. The companies offer home inspections, appraisals, disaster response and portfolio management.
The work has made him wealthy. Tax records show he and his companies have amassed numerous rental properties — commercial and residential — with a combined tax value of nearly $5.5 million. One of his companies owns a fixed-wing, single-engine Piper, and Snow had a license to pilot it, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Tax records show Snow has sold at least three properties in Eden since August for a combined total of $48,000.
On the day they intended to arrest him, Eden police checked two homes in Rockingham County and one in Ormond Beach, interviewed his family and business associates — all to no avail.
Snow had disappeared. Eden police even issued a County Crimestoppers alert for Snow, saying only that he was wanted for sex crimes without noting the prostitution charges.
On Sept. 29, Eden police Det. Brian Disher followed up on a promising lead: Snow had married Sopon Tongsua, a citizen of Thailand, and had left the United States.
Disher asked Price, the Greensboro FBI agent, to check Snow’s passport.
That’s when they discovered that Snow had left the United States, bound for Thailand, just four days after the arrests of Vanover and Woodall.
Disher soon learned that Snow planned to return to Atlanta, where he would meet with family members Nov. 15 — plans Snow later canceled, according to Tuesday’s warrant.
On Oct. 10, U.S. Customs and Border Protection noticed activity on Snow’s passport after he boarded a flight from Amsterdam to Panama, where authorities flagged him and sent him back to Thailand.
He arrived there Oct. 13, the warrant says, and authorities don’t think he has left since then.
Vanover, Woodall and Ferris will appear Monday in Rockingham County Superior Court in Wentworth.
It’s unclear when Snow will face his charges. They have to find him first.