Dayton, TN

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Dayton is a city of about 7,100 residents in southeastern Tennessee and is the county seat of Rhea County. Prostitution and drug use have been documented in the city, resulting in complaints to law enforcement. In August 2020, a man was allegedly assaulted by a woman in prostitution when she sprayed him in the face with pepper spray after he turned down her services.

At least one web-based reverse sting has been conducted in the city to combat consumer-level demand for commercial sex. In March 2022, five men were arrested in Dayton for allegedly seeking illicit sex from minors in a multi-agency human trafficking operation conducted in eastern Tennessee. The operation’s focus was to identify people seeking to participate in commercial sex acts with minors. Over a two-day period, undercover officers with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), in collaboration with the Dayton Police Department, 12th District Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and Tennessee Human Trafficking Task Force, placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex. The operation resulted in the arrest of five men, who were booked into the Rhea County Jail on a $25,000 bond. Their names, hometowns, and arrest photos were released to the press.

Key Partners

  • Dayton Police Department
  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)
    • TBI Human Trafficking Unit
    • TBI’s Tennessee Human Trafficking Task Force
  • 12th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office
  • Homeland Security Investigations
State Tennessee
Type City
Population 7139
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