La Follette, 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

La Follette is a city of approximately 7,000 residents, located in Campbell County in the North-Central portion of Tennessee, north of Knoxville and near the Interstate 75 corridor. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city, and generates numerous complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. For example, in August 2018, the La Follette Police Department conducted a prostitution sting in response to multiple complaints concerning high levels of solicitation for prostitution activity. The operation was conducted in the downtown area of La Follette. Three women were arrested and transported to the Campbell County Jail on charges including prostitution, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of the sex offender registry. At the time, the La Follette Police Department announced plans to continue to conduct these types of operations in the future. While this particular operation targeted women in prostitution, the department press release said that future operations would also target those soliciting prostitution (i.e., sex buyers). A similar operation was conducted in 2017.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have occasionally targeted consumer-level demand, which provides the revenue stream driving all prostitution and trafficking. In July 2013, a reverse sting was conducted in downtown La Follette. Two months afterward, 10 of the 11 men charged with soliciting prostitution pleaded guilty and received their punishments, and their identities were included in press releases. Among the punishments meted out were fines (between $300 to more than $1,000), and different combinations of short jail terms, suspended sentences pending fine payment, SOAP provisions (i.e., offender ordered to stay away from areas of the city known for street prostitution), and probation. Examples of sentences for individual sex buyers included:

  • seven days in jail plus a six-month suspended sentence at 75 percent, and supervised probation until fine is paid
  • 6-month suspended sentence pending paid fine; offender ordered by court not to visit north Tennessee or Indiana avenues
  • 6-month suspended sentence, pending paid fine
  • seven days in jail, plus a six-month suspended sentence at 75 percent
  • seven days in jail plus a six-month suspended sentence at 75 percent, supervised probation pending fine

Key Partners

  • La Follette Police Department
  • Campbell County Jail
State Tennessee
Type City
Population 7346
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