TBI: Four men arrested in ongoing sex trafficking investigation in East Tennessee

Four men are behind bars after an undercover operation into ongoing sex trafficking in East Tennessee. (Image: TBI, Blount Co. Sheriff's Office)

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVC) - Four men are behind bars after an undercover operation into ongoing sex trafficking in East Tennessee.

On Friday and Saturday, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) says authorities set up decoy advertisements on websites known to be liked to prostitution and commercial sex cases.

Their goal was to identify people looking for females under age 18, as well as individuals engaged in trafficking others for commercial sex acts.

As a result, authorities arrested the following suspects, and booked them into Blount County Jail:

  • Upen Patel, of Sweetwater, was charged with two counts of trafficking a minor for a commercial act, and booked on $1 million bond.
  • Orlando Moreno-Martinez, of Knoxville, was charged with trafficking a minor for a commercial act, and booked on a $500,000 bond.
  • Donald W. Turner, of Knoxville, was charged with promoting prostitution, and booked on a $6,000 bond.
  • Aaron D. Fomby, of Detroit, Michigan, was charged with trafficking a minor for a commercial act, and booked on a $500,000 bond.

The TBI, Alcoa Police Department, Blount County Sheriff's Office, Maryville Police Department, and 5th Judicial Drug Task Force were all involved in the operation.

The investigation is ongoing, and the TBI says more arrests and charges are possible.

You can learn more about the TBI's work to fight these types of crime at www.ItHasToStop.com.

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