TBI: 4 men arrested in Bradley County, charged in human trafficking investigation

(Left to right) Timothy Carter, Stephen Whited, Brian Hamler, Donald Thomas. (Images: TBI, WTVC)

Four men are now behind bars, charged in an undercover investigation into human trafficking going on in Bradley County.

Over a 3-day period beginning on August 15, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Cleveland Police detectives, and investigators with the Bradley County Sheriff's Office teamed up, placing decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex acts.

The operation had several specific goals:

  • Identify people looking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors
  • Rescue people forced into trafficking
  • Target people looking to force others into trafficking

On Monday, the TBI announced four men had been arrested - two from Tennessee, and two from Georgia:

  • Timothy Carter, age 50, of Crossville, TN: 1 count of trafficking for commercial sex
  • Stephen Whited, age 29, of Sweetwater, TN: 1 count of trafficking for commercial sex
  • Brian Hamler, age 43, of Atlanta, GA: 1 count of trafficking for commercial sex
  • Donald Thomas, age 45, of Lawrenceville, GA: 1 count of promoting prostitution, 1 count criminal impersonation

Each of the men were booked into Bradley County Jail. The TBI says there are additional arrests and charges possible in this case.

The investigation is still active, as is the fight against the crime of human trafficking. For more information and resources, check out www.ITHasToStop.com.

Depend on us to update you as we learn more.

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