Youth leader, firefighter among those arrested in Tennessee human trafficking operation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A youth leader, a coach, and a volunteer firefighter are among nearly a dozen men facing felony charges as part of a four-day human trafficking operation in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says the operation took place between July 31 and Aug. 3 with the first three days focusing entirely on targeting people who attempt to buy illicit sex from minors.

Undercover agents posed as young girls on Backpage.com and received numerous texts and phone calls from men across Tennessee and surrounding states.

The investigation was conducted in Brentwood, Clarksville, Jackson, Chattanooga (twice, once in conjunction with Georgia Bureau of Investigation), Knoxville, Nashville, Morristown, Memphis, Dyersburg, and Kingsport.

The TBI says 11 men paid to have sex with an underage girl, and those arrested include a local coach, a church youth leader, an emergency medical technician, and an Uber driver.

“We have no tolerance for those who would victimize the most vulnerable in our society,” says TBI Deputy Director Jason Locke. “We will continue to conduct these operations across the state and do whatever it takes to bring those trafficking women and children, as well as those supplying the demand, to justice.”

The fourth day of the operation focused on identifying potential victims of human and sex trafficking.

A press release states one woman was cited and offered services, including housing and counseling. She took advantage of those services and has been placed in transitional housing.

Ten of the 11 charged during the operation are listed below, as are their mug shots. The TBI said one individual indicted as part of the investigation has not yet been arrested.

  • Matthew Still, 30, Jonesborough – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, and Sexual Battery, $125,000 bond
    Youth minister at a church in Bristol
  • Samuel McMurry, 22, Johnson City – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act and Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, $100,000 bond.
    EMT with Johnson City EMS
  • Brandon Summey, 32, Kingsport – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, $75,000 bond
    Sullivan County youth sports coach and substitute teacher
  • Jose Rivero, 19, Elizabethton – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, $75,000 bond.
    Food service worker in Johnson City at Science Hill High School
  • Gregory Hart, 61, Johnson City – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, $100,000 bond.
  • Bradley Laws, 42, Green Mountain, N.C. – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act and Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, $100,000 bond.
  • Joseph Miller, 37, Bristol – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act and Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, $100,000 bond.
  • Israel Morales, 22, Johnson City – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, $100,000 bond.
  • Christopher Ginley, 21, Jonesborough – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act and Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, $100,000 bond.
  • Kevin White, 44, Kingsport – Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act, $10,000 bond.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s