Johnson City, TN

Tactics Used

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

Johnson City is a city of approximately 66,000 residents, located in Washington County, in northeastern Tennessee. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.

Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response. To curtail local demand for commercial sex, the Johnson City Police Department has incorporated the use of web stings and street-level reverse stings.  Several web-based reversals were conducted in 2008, one of which resulted in the arrest of 11 johns whose names and ages were released.  An operation conducted in May 2011 at a local hotel resulted in the arrest of three sex buyers. As one of the arrestees was a public servant, his name and photo was released to the media.

A Johnson City man was arrested in 2011 after he hired a prostituted woman for his 12-year-old son.  He pleaded guilty in Washington County Criminal Court to solicitation of child rape. His arrest was part of a Johnson City police prostitution sting conducted at a North Roan Street motel.  He was ordered to serve a 10-year prison sentence, and must serve 35 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole.

In 2017, a former Kingsport Police Department lieutenant has pleaded guilty to patronizing prostitution in Johnson City following an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct. Investigators found that the man paid to have sex while on duty and inside his unmarked police vehicle, and he later pleaded guilty to one count of patronizing prostitution.



Key Partners

  • Johnson City Police Department
  • Kingsport Police Department
  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Key Sources

State Tennessee
Type City
Population 66391
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