Blount County, TN

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Blount County is located in eastern Tennessee, and contains the cities of Alcoa and Maryville. Prostitution is a well documented problem locally and generates complaints to police from residents and businesses.  On at least one occasion, attempted sex buyers have been arrested during local sting investigations.

In December 2014, media reported that the Alcoa Police Department had partnered with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a john sting that resulted in the arrest of four men. Although the logistical details of the operation were not disclosed, a BCSO representative stated in a press release that “the arrests were the result of a joint undercover investigation with the Alcoa Police Department to address recent complaints from the community regarding illegal activity at some local establishments.” All of the arrestees’ identities were publicized by local media outlets.

In October, 2016 a joint operation between law enforcement agencies in Blount County, the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force, and TBI resulted in several arrests and several citations for prostitution. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Maryville Police Department and Alcoa Police Department joined with the two other agencies in an operation in which six people were charged or cited with prostitution. The daylong investigation was held at a local hotel. One man from Lenoir City was charged with patronizing prostitution, and held in the Blount County Jail on $750 bond. His identity was disclosed in news releases.

In July, 2019, a web-based revers sting was conducted in Alcoa and surrounding areas in East Tennessee, resulting in the arrest of four men. Authorities placed decoy advertisements on websites known to be used for prostitution and commercial sex. Their goal was to identify people seeking to buy sex with females under age 18, as well as individuals engaged in trafficking others for commercial sex acts.  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.

In September, 2020, six men were arrested by Alcoa Police Department undercover officers conducting a sting operation, and charged them with patronizing prostitution.  The sting occurred at two motels on the Alcoa Highway, and a hotel at Singleton Station, Louisville.  The undercover operation used female police officers as decoys at area hotels where they had complaints about prostitutes and men patronizing those prostitutes.

Key Partners

  • Blount County Sheriff’s Office
  • Maryville Police Department
  • Alcoa Police Department
  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
  • 5th Judicial Drug Task Force

Key Sources

Reverse Sting, Shaming:

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

 

State Tennessee
Type County
Population 127253
Location
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