Human trafficking arrests have been made just a two hour drive from Rutherford County by the TBI. The investigation by Special Agents with the Human Trafficking Unit of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, detectives with the Cleveland Police Department, and investigators with the Bradley County Sheriff's Department has resulted in the arrest of two Tennessee men, and two men from Georgia.
Over a three-day period beginning August 15th, as part of an undercover investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in Bradley County, authorities placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex acts. The focus of the operation was to identify individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with individuals under the age of 18 and to rescue individuals forced into trafficking, as well as targeting individuals who looked to force individuals into trafficking. As a result of the operation, four men were arrested and booked into the Bradley County Jail:
• 50 year old Timothy Carter (DOB: 03/24/1969), Crossville. One count Trafficking for Commercial Sex.
• 29 year old Stephen Whited (DOB: 12/15/1989), Sweetwater. One count Trafficking for Commercial Sex.
• 43 year old Brian Hamler (DOB 12/29/1975), Atlanta, GA. One count Trafficking for Commercial Sex.
• 45 year old Donald Thomas (DOB 12/10/1973), Lawrenceville, GA. One count Promoting Prostitution, one count Criminal Impersonation.
The investigation remains active and ongoing, with the possibility of additional arrests and charges. Information about human trafficking and TBI's efforts to address this type of crime can be found online at www.ITHasToStop.com.