WGNS NEWS has an update to a story that first hit the airwaves in 2019 that involved human trafficking and multiple arrests made by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
In October of 2019, TBI Agents and authorities in Rutherford County placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to commercial sex. After the ads were placed, a two day investigation began that involved several law enforcement agencies.
At the completion of the sting, a total of 16 suspects were arrested and accused of seeking illicit sex from minors, according to the TBI.
Almost two years later, some of the suspects have been prosecuted while others are still awaiting a court hearing.
Where the Cases Stand Today:
- 40-Year old Tony Maddox of Cowan, Tennessee was charged with three counts of “Solicitation of a Minor,” one count of “Trafficking of Sexual Servitude,” one count of “Attempted – Aggravated Statutory Rape,” and one count of “Patronizing Prostitution.” Maddox is scheduled to file a plea before Rutherford County Judge Barry Tidwell later this month on June 23, 2021.
- 57-Year-old Gameel Mesad of LaVergne is scheduled to file a plea in a Rutherford County courtroom on July 22, 2021. He faces three charges of “Solicitation of a Minor,” one charge of “Trafficking of Sexual Servitude,” and one charge of “Patronizing Prostitution.”
- Franklin, Tennessee resident James Hubert Farmer is scheduled to be in Murfreesboro to file a plea on July 1, 2021. During the two day operation in 2019, the 56-year-old was charged with three counts of “Solicitation of a Minor,” one count of “Trafficking of Sexual Servitude” and one count of “Patronizing Prostitution.”
- A plea hearing will take place on June 24, 2021 for 33-year-old Lian Sian Thang of Smyrna, TN. As a result of the 2019 TBI operation in Rutherford County, he faces three counts of "Solicitation of a Minor," one charge of "Trafficking of Sexual Servitude,” one count of "Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape" and one charge of "Patronizing Prostitution."
- 48-Year-old Diego Mancilla Martinez of LaVergne was allowed to undergo Judicial Diversion for the charge of “Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape.” Judicial Diversion is a type of probation for first-time offenders who plead guilty. It allows first-time offenders to keep criminal charges off their record.
- Also receiving Judicial Diversion for “Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape” was 44-year-old Miguel A. Erazo-Hernandez of Antioch.
- Manasranjan Murlidhar Rana received judicial diversion for the charge of "Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape." The 33-year-old Nashville man appeared in a Rutherford County courtroom on August 20th of 2020.
- 36-Year-old Luis Miguel Garcia-Alvarez of LaVergne received judicial diversion on the charge of "Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape" when he appeared in court this past July.
- 41-Year-old Jose Guadalupe Zarate-Flores of Smyrna, TN appeared in court last August and received Judicial Diversion on the charge of "Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape."
- John Thomas Sulkowski of Murfreesboro appeared in court this past October. The 26-year-old received Judicial Diversion to the charges of "Attempted Statutory Rape" and "Patronizing Prostitution."
- 48-Year-old Juan Manuel Tovar of Antioch received judicial diversion for "Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape."
- Michael Romero, 33, of Prospect, TN, received Judicial Diversion on two counts of "Patronizing Prostitution."
- 31-Year-old Deadrick Darrell Evans is being held in the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex after pleading guilty to “Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape” in October of 2020. His sentence will end in September of 2023. Apparently, the Murfreesboro man was previously convicted in 2013 on aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated robbery charges in Rutherford County.
- In 2020, Harry Garcia faced the courts and plead guilty to one count of “Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape.” Other charges filed against the 45-year-old Murfreesboro man during the two day sting were dismissed.
- 32-Year-old Paul Flores-Vazquez plead guilty to “Attempted Aggravated Statutory Rape” this past September in Rutherford County. The Nashville resident remains on probation. His probation will end in September of 2022.
- Court records show "Nolle Prosequi" in the case against 25-year-old Taylor Moore. Nolle Prosequi is a notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor. Previously, Moore was charged "Trafficking of Sexual Servitude" and "Solicitation of a Minor.”
Those participating in the operation included the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, the Smyrna Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the office of 16th District Attorney General Jennings Jones.