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Sevier County is a county of about 98,000 residents located in eastern Tennessee, just southeast of Knoxville. Its county seat and largest city is Sevierville. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the county. For example, an operation in July 2017, led to the arrest of six women on prostitution charges and two men on charges of trafficking for a commercial sex act.
At least one web-based reverse sting targeting demand has occurred in the county. In April 2022, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) arrested eight sex buyers during a two-day operation to address human trafficking in Sevier County. The TBI Human Trafficking Unit, Sevierville Police Department, Pigeon Forge Police Department, Gatlinburg Police Department, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Unit, and Office of the 4th Judicial District Attorney General assisted in the operation. Law enforcement placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution with the specific intent of finding people attempting to engage in commercial sex acts with minors. The eight men’s charges included solicitation of a minor and soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means. Their identities and arrest photos were released to the press.
- Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)
- TBI Human Trafficking Unit
- Sevier County Sheriff’s Office
- Street Crimes Unit
- Sevierville Police Department
- Pigeon Forge Police Department
- Gatlinburg Police Department
- Office of the 4th Judicial District Attorney General
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- https://tbinewsroom.com/eight-arrested-in-multi-agency-human-trafficking-operation-in-sevier-county (2022)
- https://www.wbir.com/article/news/crime/tbi-sevier-county-human-trafficking-bust (2022)
- https://fox17.com/news/local/8-arrested-in-tennessee-human-trafficking-operation-crime-alertnest (2022)
Background on Background on Prostitution in the Area: