A longtime North Carolina state employee was arrested on June 9 in Long Beach, California, for allegedly trying to meet a 15-year-old male for sex. The “teen” that Harlan Frye, 62,  Greensboro, thought he was meeting turned out to be an undercover cyber vigilante.

Frye, who had worked for the state since 1993, was most recently employed as the human resources director for the North Carolina Department of Revenue. A spokesperson confirmed in an emailed statement to Carolina Journal that he was no longer employed with the department and had worked there from April 4, 2022, to June 10 of this year.

“Why are you doing this, brother?” the vigilante can be heard saying to Frye at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Long Beach, to which Frye replied, “I’ve never done it with anybody this young. I try to help kids.” The vigilante followed up with, “So that’s what you are going to do with this kid?” Frye replied, “I don’t know. I’m just being honest with you.”

(Warning: lewd language) YouTube video showing Harlan Frye caught and arrested for trying to meet a teen for sex. Source: Big Bad Wolf83 YouTube page.

Frye told him that he was in California for a conference.

The vigilante eventually called the police, and Frye can be seen being arrested and handcuffed later in the video.

Harlan Frye, former NC Dept of Revenue human resources director, meeting with cyber vigilante. Source Screenshot from Big Bad Wolf83 YouTube page.

Frye was charged with a felony of “arranging a meeting with a child for lewd purposes.” He was released on June 13.

In California, it is a crime to arrange a meeting with a minor under the age of 18 with the intent to engage in sexual conduct at the meeting. If convicted, the crime carries a penalty of up to four years in jail, and the person must register as a sex offender.

Harlan Frye, former NC Dept of Revenue human resources director, being arrested by police. Source Screenshot from Big Bad Wolf83 YouTube page.

Frye mentions in the video that he had mentored teens.

In addition to working for the state, Frye has also served as a youth basketball coach for many years across the state, including as North Carolina A&T’s volunteer director of basketball operations. He graduated from NC A&T in 1984.

According to his bio on NC A&T’s website, Frye became the eighth-grade head basketball coach at Greensboro Day School in 1984. Frye also worked as an assistant coach at Dudley, where he helped the Panthers win the Little Four Championship. 

Frye had also been quite familiar with California in the past, according to the bio. Frye left Greensboro for an assistant basketball coaching position at West Los Angeles Junior College.

While in California, Frye also worked as the director of the basketball program at the Gardena, California YMCA. He coached all-star teams, refereed city league games in the Los Angeles area, and helped his six-foot-and-under basketball team to a third-place finish in the Los Angeles County basketball tournament in 1986. Frye returned to North Carolina in 1988, where he worked at the Bryan Adrian Basketball Camps, the Mooresville City youth coach, and the Statesville, N.C., men’s basketball league.

Frye said in the video that his cousin was former NBA star Channing Frye. Also confirmed on the NC A&T website are Frye’s parents: his mother, Shirley Frye, who used to be the special assistant to the Chancellor at NC A&T, and his father, Henry Frye, who was the first black justice to serve on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

His parents were honored this past February with the unveiling of a statue of them in Center City Park in Greensboro for their work as civil rights pioneers and achievements. According to a Triad news article, Harlan was in attendance, along with the Fryes’ other children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in addition to Gov. Roy Cooper and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn.